A call for help - Police contact management through call handling and control rooms in 2018/19

Summary

The control room is one of the engine rooms of a police force. If it doesn’t have the right systems and processes in place, the force won’t have an accurate picture of demand. This will affect its ability to respond to calls and investigate crimes effectively.

In this report, our findings highlight the challenges that the police service faces in handling calls with smaller budgets and fewer people. It finds that as the demand on control rooms increases, careful management is needed to make sure that the police service doesn’t become overwhelmed.

Covid-19

In March 2020 we suspended our inspection activity to enable forces and fire and rescue services to focus on dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic. We deferred this report’s publication as part of this suspension. HM Chief Inspector of Constabulary Sir Thomas Winsor comments in detail on this as part of his annual assessment of policing, published on 2 July 2020. Our findings in this report are based on evidence we collected before the pandemic was declared. Care should be taken if seeking to make links between our findings and police performance during the lockdown.

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PEEL spotlight report: A call for help – Police contact management through call handling and control rooms in 2018/19

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Police control rooms are in danger of being overwhelmed by the demand they face

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