THE Police and Crime Commissioner for West Mercia Police has raised concerns about the force’s non-emergency 101 call handling and has sought assurance that there are clear plans to deliver sustained improvements for the public.
In a meeting with the Assistant Chief Constable, John Campion raised his concerns regarding two areas of performance that directly impact the public and have the potential to undermine their confidence in the service.
The first being the non-emergency call handling performance for 101 calls in 2020/21, and the second being an increasing trend in un-resourced incidents following the easing of lockdown restrictions from March 2021.
The force currently answers just 57 per cent of 101 calls within 30 seconds but Mr Campion wants that raised to 80 per cent.
The PCC will receive regular updates to ensure the force are on track to deliver the improvements.
He also sought reassurance that investments made in the force by the public continued to be fully utilised to the best effect.
He added key to improving both concerns would be the embedding of the Local Policing Community Charter, which would make sure local officers are accessible to local people without the need to contact 101.
Mr Campion added: “If someone calls the police, they expect to be able to talk to someone within a reasonable time.
“They also expect police presence if there has been an incident, or something that warrants attendance.
“I absolutely recognise the sustainable improvements the force has delivered with its 999 emergency call handling, but within this meeting I sought reassurance that the force has plans in place to also improve non-emergency call handling.”
He added the Chief Constable’s team had ensured him the force had a clear plan to ensure 80 per cent of non-emergency 101 calls were answered within 30 seconds by the end of the year.
“Ensuring the community is at the heart of policing means I will support and challenge the force to ensure that their plans are delivered and the public get the level of service they rightfully expect from their police force.”