POLICE chiefs have “significantly improved” their response to calls for help from the public.
Cheshire Constabulary’s Call Handling Centre has been awarded ‘Best Contact Centre (public sector)’ and ‘Best Recruitment Campaign’ in the Regional Call Northwest award categories.
The county’s centre continues to exceed national targets of answering 90% of 999 calls within 10 seconds.
More than 37,000 999 calls were received in just three months from August to October – more than 3,000 per week.
Of these, 92.5% were answered within ten seconds.
In addition, the constabulary received nearly 87,000 non-emergency calls – more than 7,000 per week.
Peter Nurse, chairman of Cheshire Police Authority, said: “We welcome the news that the constabulary has significantly improved its response to calls from the public for assistance.
“Too often, we used to hear people say they couldn’t get through or were kept waiting when they tried to contact the police.
“We have made significant investment to improve this and it is paying off.
“This is an immensely busy emergency service that provides security for the people of Cheshire.”
In order to improve the quality of service, the Call Handling Centre checks and monitors the calls taken, which shows that 81% of calls exceed the standards set.
The constabulary has focused on getting accurate information at the first point of contact rather than simply how quickly the next call is taken, meaning that people get their problems solved with less hassle and have peace of mind.
Cllr Nurse said of the awards: “This is the first time a police organisation has won these categories and is recognition of the significant contribution that call handling staff are making in helping the people of Cheshire to feel safer.”