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Another money saving farce

#1 by phil ( deleted ) , Sun Mar 13, 2011 5:25 pm

New measures designed to make West Midlands Police more efficient have in fact left 999 callers hanging on the line for more than two minutes. Government guidelines state cops should answer 999 calls within 10 seconds.

Police Authority figures show that between January and April last year, the force took longer than two minutes to answer more than 7,000 emergency calls. The situation has become dangerous and alarmed senior management. Every second really does count if you are being attacked.

The force has now resorted to diverting some 999 calls to neighbouring forces including Staffordshire, Warwickshire and West Mercia. West Midlands Police has admitted that BT complained about the delays, and says the controversial Programme Paragon restructuring of the force was to blame.

These changes, launched last April in a bid to save £50 million over four years, have come under fire for a series of failings. The force’s call management service underwent a massive upheaval as a result of Paragon, with 21 call centres cut to just 10. Within months, arrest, detection and response rates plummeted.

All 999 calls from landlines are answered in the first instance by BT under an agreement between the firm and the Home Office. Emergency calls from mobiles are picked up by telephone companies other than BT. Callers asking for police help are then diverted to West Midlands Police’s only 999 call centre at Bournville.

BT operators taking the calls found they were waiting longer than two minutes with many calls. They hold the call for two minutes before trying to re-route it to other call centres. But if they’re busy holding on the line, waiting with the caller, they’re not free to take other emergency calls. As part of Paragon, staff at the call centres were given flexible working arrangements, and put on five-day rotas. This resulted in more staff being on a rest day than under the previous system.

Phil


Make Love, Not War

phil

RE: Another money saving farce

#2 by Sheldonboy , Sun Mar 13, 2011 5:44 pm

Phil I can say that when I attend Police meetings, this subject comes up on a very regular basis. The senior officers that we meet with are very aware of these problems and our group are trying to help to sort this mess out. Birmingham East i know now have a new telephone system. With the cuts in the Police budget and the forthcoming reduction in manpower this situation doesn't look like getting any better for a while. Believe me the police are less happy about it than the rest of us. SB


I started out with nothing and Iv'e still got most of it left

 
Sheldonboy

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Last edited 03.15.2011 | Top

RE: Another money saving farce

#3 by phil ( deleted ) , Sun Mar 13, 2011 6:09 pm

SB

I am not criticising the police over this (thats unusual in itself) but those who have installed this new system. The people responsible I suppose have their own personal policemen.

Phil


Make Love, Not War

phil

RE: Another money saving farce

#4 by Sheldonboy , Sun Mar 13, 2011 6:45 pm

Phil the people who are responsible for this as usual is our wonderful Government. The Police were struggling before the cuts, morale I know was getting on the low side. Now it's just ridiculous. Police recruitment in the West Midlands has been completely halted some time ago. When Police reached retirement age they were allowed to stay on if they wished on a twelve month contract. This has been stopped. When police reach retirement now they are out. End of story. The effectiveness of police response is bound to be affected. Who will get the backlash? the police of course , battering morale even more. SB


I started out with nothing and Iv'e still got most of it left

 
Sheldonboy

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Posts: 43.451
Date registered 12.22.2009


   

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