South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner, Dr Alan Billings, has announced a review of the way in which the public contact South Yorkshire Police.
Over the last couple of months Dr Billings has attended a number of public meetings and events and the subject of contacting the police has been raised consistently at those meetings.
Members of the public have shown increasing concern about the length of time it has taken for them to have their calls answered when ringing 101.
The internal review was announced at a meeting of the Governance and Assurance Board of the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner and South Yorkshire Police.
Dr Billings said: “Over the last few months it has become apparent that members of the public are not happy with the way in which they are asked to contact the police to report crime. The issue has been raised at the majority of meetings I have had with the public and is a cause for concern with local elected members. It has also been the discussion of much debate on social media. I hear time and time again that people want to be able to contact the police in ways that suit them and at times that suit them and that telephoning a number and being placed on hold is an inconvenience.
“I have listened to the concerns and have asked my office to undertake a thorough review and consultation process so that we can establish the full extent of the concerns and propose improvements to the current service.”
The overall aim will be to provide recommendations on how to improve the satisfaction levels of individuals contacting the police. It will consider the performance of 101 and look at staffing levels, technology issues, the barriers to providing a good public service and the extent to which 101 is being used to handle calls that should be handled by other agencies.
Some public consultation has already taken place to establish what the public and elected representatives are saying about the existing arrangements for contacting South Yorkshire Police.
The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner will be looking to organise focus groups with members of the public as part of the review to establish if they felt they were listened to and taken seriously and treated fairly and with respect. It will also look at how they would like to contact the police and consider other methods to the telephone system and how they would like to be contacted by the police.
Internally consultation will take place with 101 staff to look at ideas for improvement from within the workforce as well as looking at other police forces and external call handling services to establish good practice.
Anyone who is interested in being part of a focus group to improve the service should contact 01226 774600 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Posted on Friday 3rd July 2015