Specialist call handling team set up to provide ‘enhanced’ response to the public

Police Scotland has introduced a specialist team of officers to conduct an “enhanced assessment of vulnerability” as part of its ongoing development of call handling services.

Oct 6, 2020
By Paul Jacques

Based in Inverness, officers will use their local knowledge and experience of policing urban, remote and island communities to provide “additional resilience” to the national contact command and control service.

Initially, 25 police officers will be working as part of the new Resolution Team to provide advice and resolve suitable inquiries from the public over the telephone, by face-to-face appointment (where appropriate in certain areas) or via video-link.

Police Scotland says this new approach means that every call via 999 or 101 goes through an enhanced assessment and provides officers and staff with a wider range of options available to offer help based on the needs and circumstances of the caller.

It added: “This could include immediate attendance at the incident or within a specified time-frame, an appointment with a police officer or assistance directly over the phone.

“Assessing calls in this way also increases the ability to dispatch police officers to urgent incidents, which means getting to the people who need police assistance most, when they need it most.

“It also provides additional resilience and enables Police Scotland to maximise its resources to ensure frontline policing is protected during the coronavirus pandemic.”

The Resolution Team will join the previously established National Database Enquiry Unit in refurbished offices in Inverness and further development of these services is expected in the future.

Police Scotland said it remains committed to decentralising its workforce and ensuring national resources are distributed around the country, adding: “The establishment of the Inverness Resolution Team is a major investment in services in the north and a significant milestone in the ongoing development of call handling services for Scotland, now that a national infrastructure is in place.”

Divisional Commander for the Highlands and Islands, Chief Superintendent Conrad Trickett, said: “Members of the public will still contact Police Scotland via 999, 101 or at their local police office, however, our trained officers and staff, who are the first point of contact, will make an enhanced assessment of threat, harm, risk and vulnerability to ensure the matter is correctly prioritised.

“The ability to conduct this enhanced assessment of vulnerability on every call and provide increased resolution options allows us to provide the right response to every caller.”

Councillor Margaret Davidson, leader of the Highland Council, said she was pleased that Police Scotland recognised the “personal value” that a new team of specialist police officers with local knowledge and experience will bring to 101 and 999 services.

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