West Mercia opens new call management centre

West Mercia Constabulary has unveiled a new ‘state of the art’ communications centre.

Apr 10, 2008
By Paul Jacques
L-R: Alison Lowe, John Robins, chief constable of West Yorkshire Police, and Mayor Tracy Brabin

West Mercia Constabulary has unveiled a new ‘state of the art’ communications centre.

The 90 staff based at the Contact Management Centre North in Shrewsbury will prioritise incoming calls from Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin.

Chief Superintendent John Jones, head of contact management and service quality for the force, said: “This new centre represents an investment of £2.2 million from West Mercia Police Authority. It will mean increased resilience, better answering of calls and improved technology to assist staff. We don’t just want to reach call handling targets, we aim to exceed them where possible while at the same time giving a consistently good service. The new technology also means more efficient despatch of officers to incidents using vehicle location systems.

“People living in Shropshire or Telford can be assured their call is going to be dealt with by someone who has good local knowledge. Many people who call the police are in distress and need to be dealt with a timely and efficient manner.”

The new centre replaces smaller control rooms at Telford and Shrewsbury police stations.

The force deals with 1.3 million non emergency calls a year and approximately 160,000 emergency 999 calls. There are 1,200 incidents a day across West Mercia, although during the floods last summer a record number of 2,000 incidents were logged during a 24-hour period.

Improved systems mean the force is now better resourced to deal with emergencies and critical incidents such as the July floods and foot and mouth disease.
National targets for call taking mean 90 per cent of 999 calls should be answered within ten seconds and 90 per cent of non-emergency calls answered in 30 seconds.

The new centre will work in conjunction with CMC South based in Worcester which predominantly serves Herefordshire and Worcestershire. This centre opened in November 2001.

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