4.1 All 999 calls are initially received by British Telecom or Cable & Wireless, before being forwarded directly to the Control Room and Force Enquiry Centre (FEC) without going through the constabulary switchboard. Whilst, there will be some variation depending on demand levels at the time, the average number of calls received each month is 20,996 and the average wait time for 999 callers once they have transferred to the Control Room or FEC is 4 seconds.
The National Call Handling Standard (NCHS) target service level is to answer 90% of those incoming 999 calls within 10 seconds. For the period April to November, our service level is 89.41%. As can be seen by the second graph below historically the 999 call performance dips between May and August when the 999 call volumes are at their highest and performance improves steadily over the remainder of the year as 999 call volumes decline. The service level performance for this year is predicted to meet the NCHS target and be at 90.63% by year-end.
The national Policing Pledge requirement is that we ‘aim to answer 999 calls within 10 seconds’.
4.4 The following graphs show the performance more fully:
4.5 In comparison to the same period last year (April – November), Emergency call volumes are down by 4%.
5. Switchboard Performance
5.1 The Switchboard answer all non-emergency calls coming in on 0845 and 101 lines and also internal calls from Constabulary lines, on average, they receive 132,556 calls per month, with an average wait time of 3 seconds. They triage calls and transfer them to the appropriate staff.
5.2 The Switchboard consistently answers more than 90% of calls within its target time of 10 seconds. The year to date service level at the end of November is 99.32%, despite volumes of calls to the Switchboard currently running at 10% higher than the same period last year.
6. Non-emergency Call Performance
6.1 Once triaged by the switchboard The Force Enquiry Centre (FEC) deal with the majority of non-emergency calls from the public and receives an average of 69,864 calls per month. These calls take more time to resolve and are slower time issues.
6.2 The NCHS target is to answer 90% of incoming non-emergency calls within 30 seconds and for the period April to November; the service level is 77.15%. It is predicted that this will be 80.28% by year-end. Whilst this is below the NCHS target this represents a considerable improvement in performance on the last two years. Non emergency call performance was at 65.9% at year-end for 2007-2008.
6.3 The national Policing Pledge requirement is that we ‘answer all non-emergency calls promptly’ no specific target measure has been set.
6.4 There has been 10% drop in call volumes compared to the same period last year. The number of callers abandoning their calls has decreased from 7.73% to 3.56%.
7.1 The call flow for both emergency 999 calls and non-emergency calls has been closely scrutinised by the Call Management Department this year, and modelling of demand and resourcing used to determine how performance can be maximised by better using the available resources.
7.2 As a result on the 1st of December 2008 a new call flow and prioritisation of call delivery has been put in place to achieve further improvement in performance on 999 and non-emergency calls. Whilst we are still in the first month of this change and it is too early to quantify the benefits, early indications are promising and an immediate improvement in performance on both types of call has been seen. For the first ten days of operation of the new call flow 999 performance is at 97.16 % calls answered in ten seconds and non-emergency performance is at 89.86 % calls answered in 30 seconds.
8. Crime Recording Bureau Performance
8.1 The Crime Recording Bureau (CRB) records occurrences into the Records Management System (RMS) from phone calls made to them from police officers. The CRB receives an average of 30,253 calls per month and the internal target we have set is to answer 90% of incoming calls within 60 seconds. The service level for the period April to November is 87.39%.
8.2 This year has seen an increase of 3.6% in call volumes compared to the same period last year. At year end performance is predicted to be at 87.65% an improvement compared to 2007-2008 where year end performance was at 86.8%.
9.1 Since April 2008, there have been 19,427 Emergency (grade 1) incidents created on Altaris (the command and Control system). Of those which needed an officer, 90.4% have had a Unit dispatched to them within 4 minutes meeting the NCHS target of 90% deployed in 4 minutes. In 90% of incidents an officer attended within 15 minutes which meets the NCHS target and is an improvement in performance over the same period last year where attendance within 15 minutes was at 86.2 %.
9.2 The national Policing Pledge requires that for emergency deployments in urban areas we aim to get to incidents safely within 15 minutes and in rural areas within 20 minutes.
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