Highland Life logo

Highland Life / News / Northern Constabulary News / Northern Constabulary responds to HMIC comments in relation to the Force's handling of 999 calls

Northern Constabulary responds to HMIC comments in relation to the Force's handling of 999 calls

Issued: 7 Oct 2010

Northern Constabulary today responded to comments in relation to the Force's response to 999 calls contained within Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary's Annual Report 2009/10.

Superintendent Philip MacRae, Head of Corporate Services, said: "The national target is achieved within 13 seconds and a recent audit in March 2010 showed that only 25% of the 999 calls received by the Force were genuine emergency calls.

"In addition the demand on control room staff often increases following road traffic collisions or during bad weather when the Force receives multiple inquiries about the same issues. There is also a need to continually reinforce advice to the public about what constitutes an emergency call.

"The Force receives a significant number of 999 calls from people using their mobile phones when they have run out of credit or when they suffer a vehicle breakdown, which all add to the demand being placed on Force Operations Centre staff. These are clear examples of the inappropriate use of the system."

He added: "We are confident that we are answering genuine emergency calls and providing the required professional Police response in relation to all such incidents."

An Audit Scotland report in September 2007 revealed that Northern Constabulary's revenue expenditure costs for call management per 10,000 of population were the lowest in Scotland. (Around 20 times lower than the highest costs in Scotland's Forces).

In maintaining such low costs, we strive to keep our resources at the frontline where the public need is at its greatest. Our call management strategy is aimed at producing a quality service where the callers' needs are immediately identified and dealt with at first point of contact. This ensures a high quality response.

© 2010 Highland Public Services Partnership.
Project part-financed by the European Union (European Regional Development Fund) within the INTERREG IIIB Northern Periphery Programme