Call centre excellence at Staffordshire Police

Staffordshire Police’s communications department is being given recognition for its commitment to excellence.

Feb 14, 2008
By Paul Jacques
L-R: PC Joe Swan, Sgt Thomas Neilson and Sgt Chris Smith

Staffordshire Police’s communications department is being given recognition for its commitment to excellence.

Quality and training organisation Midlands Excellence has awarded the department accreditation as an Investor In Excellence. The accreditation is given to organisations able to demonstrate that they meet the required standard across nine strands including leadership, customer relations and human resources. All assessments are measured against the European Quality Foundation Management (EFQM) Excellence Model also known as the Business Excellence Model. The award was presented at a ceremony in Birmingham last month.

Assistant head of communications, Pauline Smith, said: “Our accreditation is a positive reflection upon the quality of the people we have working for us and their commitment to doing everything they can to provide an excellent quality of service.

“Accreditation is only the start. We’ve made a commitment to continuous improvement which means we’ll always be aiming to do things better. Residents in Staffordshire can be confident that we’re doing our utmost to make sure that when they need us we’ve got the systems in place to help them.”

Last year, Staffordshire implemented a new convergence system to provide a bridge between legacy voice networks and its new integrated communications and control system.

With its mix of rural areas together with the cities of Stoke-on-Trent and Lichfield, and a number of large towns, the force wanted to improve public reassurance and confidence in the police and increase satisfaction amongst those who come into contact with the service, especially victims and witnesses.

An essential element in achieving these goals was effective communication channels with the public.

The new integrated communications and control system (ICCS) was needed to support the Airwave radio service, but the new system had to offer telephony functionality and call handling to at least the same level as was currently employed.

Staffordshire Police had a Siemens DX telephony system together with Hi Path Pro-centre. This technology had become fundamental in delivering force telephony and the force’s call handling strategy, consequently any reduction in functionality would have proved detrimental to the force’s call handling ability.

However, the ICCS call handling functionality did not include a subset of the DPNSS protocol, which processed call forwarding. Consequently, the Siemens DX was unable to process outgoing calls to voicemail-attached extensions.

The problem was resolved with the InterChange iQ (IiQ) 2000plus protocol converter from convergence migration specialists Westell.

Westell’s InterChange convergence products enable migration to an IP network by providing a bridge between traditional voice networks and new IP networks. The IiQ2000plus converts DPNSS from the ICCS to Q.931 at the Siemens ISDX, which then allows the ISDX to fully control the call setup and manage the call from start to finish.

“The product offered an ideal solution to a call forwarding issue that was jeopardising the successful implementation of the strategically important ICCS,” said Chris Bowen, communications and network services manager at Staffordshire Police.

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