Dorset Police reveal timewasting calls made to 101 non-emergency number

Dorset Police reveal timewasting calls made to 101 non-emergency number

Dorset Police apologise for "unacceptable" delays in non-emergency phone call waiting times

Dorset Police apologise for "unacceptable" delays in non-emergency phone call waiting times

First published in News
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DORSET Police has revealed some of the time-wasting calls that have clogged up the 101 non-emergency phone lines this year as it battles to reduce the waiting time for calls to be answered.

A panicked resident reported a large seagull sat in the middle of a communal hallway in a block of flats, a pet owner phoned the police after their cat became out of control and one caller wanted to report they couldn't access WiFi on their mobile phone.

The force has apologised for the 'unacceptable' delays in answering non-emergency phone calls.

It has failed to reach its target of answering 75 per cent of calls within 30 seconds as it struggles to cope with the unprecedented demand during the busy summer months.

Extra staff are now being drafted in by the police to try and cope with demand, as 1,500 more calls are being made each week to the 101 number compared to last year.

Sixty per cent of calls go unanswered for nearly a minute.

The police have said that the increase in calls is not due to an increase in crime, but the fact that a large number of calls to the 101 line were not for police to deal with. Emergency calls to 999 have not been affected by the delays.

Dorset Police has released 12 examples of some of the calls that operators on the 101 non-emergency line dealt with in the past 12 months.

These include someone who was unhappy when the wrong order was delivered by a takeaway, a shopper who wanted to report a faulty photo booth in Boots and someone who wanted a lift.

Other time-wasting callers included a parent whose son was refusing to go to school, a resident with an overheated boiler and someone who had a problem paying their phone bill.

Police are urging people to think twice before they call 101.

Jane Jennings, head of contact management at Dorset Police, said: “Some people phone the police in error, please consider whether your enquiry is a police issue or is a matter for another organisation, before making the call.

"An unprecedented increase in calls has caused a temporary dip in our non-emergency phone service. I apologise for this and reassure the public that we are recruiting more staff to improve waiting times and callers' overall experience.”

“We are encouraging people to use our 'Do It Online' service for non-emergency issues whenever possible. This includes options to make a general enquiry or pass a message to an officer. It also allows people to request a telephone call-back while avoiding 101 waiting times.

“I would also reassure people that our 999 service is not affected by these delays and remind them to always use this number for emergencies. People should call 999 when life or property is in immediate danger or when they are witnessing a crime that is currently taking place.”

The call increases have also coincided with the amalgamation of the enquiry centre and the force control room, which have been transformed into the Force Command Centre at the police's headquarters in Winfrith, which has also contributed to the delays.

Martyn Underhill, Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner, said: “The introduction of the new Force Contact Centre and an unprecedented rise in call demand ahead of the busiest time of the year for Dorset Police has created a perfect storm.

“This has led to unacceptable delays and for that I apologise on behalf of the Force. I am working hard with the Chief Constable to ensure Dorset Police provides an effective and efficient service to residents across the county.”

PANEL

In July, Dorset Police answered 28,071 calls, a 15 per cent increase on calls answered in July 2013.

49.2 per cent of calls answered in 30 seconds

51.5 per cent of calls answered in 45 seconds

56.5 per cent of calls answered in 60 seconds

In June 2014 Dorset Police answered 29,259 calls, a 31.14 per cent increase on calls answered last year.

54.1 per cent of calls answered in 30 seconds

56.1 per cent of calls answered in 45 seconds

57.7 per cent of calls answered in 60 seconds

Comments (6)

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3:48pm Wed 6 Aug 14

shy talk says...

Time wasting callers. This could reflect Dorset has a high density of village idiots then.
Time wasting callers. This could reflect Dorset has a high density of village idiots then. shy talk
  • Score: 16

4:11pm Wed 6 Aug 14

angrydorseter says...

shy talk wrote:
Time wasting callers. This could reflect Dorset has a high density of village idiots then.
If only the idiots were actually restricted to villages..
[quote][p][bold]shy talk[/bold] wrote: Time wasting callers. This could reflect Dorset has a high density of village idiots then.[/p][/quote]If only the idiots were actually restricted to villages.. angrydorseter
  • Score: 19

5:00pm Wed 6 Aug 14

burgerboy says...

what about the time wasted by pinky and perky piglet when giving out a ticket to a motorist for having a supposedly illegal horn before checking the facts.....
what about the time wasted by pinky and perky piglet when giving out a ticket to a motorist for having a supposedly illegal horn before checking the facts..... burgerboy
  • Score: 1

8:36pm Wed 6 Aug 14

cosmick says...

I waited 20 min 2 weeks ago then got cut off , speaking to no one. Crap service due to cut backs.
I waited 20 min 2 weeks ago then got cut off , speaking to no one. Crap service due to cut backs. cosmick
  • Score: 13

9:28pm Wed 6 Aug 14

Shock-Horror says...

perhaps if there were some bobbies on the beat in the neighbourhoods then people would be able to talk to them and help have problems solved. A policeman is a public servant remember.
Why shouldn't a struggling parent have a policeman give a kid a rollocking to get make them get to school. It could save kids growing up without respect for parents or the law. The takeaway one sounds silly but perhaps the customer has been ripped off by the takeaway, no one knows from the small comments in the story. Who else does the person have to complain to? what if they were changed £100 for pizza and a £5 one turned up and the takeaway told them to go away.
perhaps if there were some bobbies on the beat in the neighbourhoods then people would be able to talk to them and help have problems solved. A policeman is a public servant remember. Why shouldn't a struggling parent have a policeman give a kid a rollocking to get make them get to school. It could save kids growing up without respect for parents or the law. The takeaway one sounds silly but perhaps the customer has been ripped off by the takeaway, no one knows from the small comments in the story. Who else does the person have to complain to? what if they were changed £100 for pizza and a £5 one turned up and the takeaway told them to go away. Shock-Horror
  • Score: 2

1:27pm Thu 7 Aug 14

scubadude says...

Shock-Horror wrote:
perhaps if there were some bobbies on the beat in the neighbourhoods then people would be able to talk to them and help have problems solved. A policeman is a public servant remember.
Why shouldn't a struggling parent have a policeman give a kid a rollocking to get make them get to school. It could save kids growing up without respect for parents or the law. The takeaway one sounds silly but perhaps the customer has been ripped off by the takeaway, no one knows from the small comments in the story. Who else does the person have to complain to? what if they were changed £100 for pizza and a £5 one turned up and the takeaway told them to go away.
Are you sane?

Parents should bring their own children up and if a takeaway rips you off you complain to Trading Standards, neither has the slightest thing to do with the Police. If you Child or Pizza delivery driver commits an actual Crime then by all means call the Police but it should Not be to report yourself for your own stupidity!
[quote][p][bold]Shock-Horror[/bold] wrote: perhaps if there were some bobbies on the beat in the neighbourhoods then people would be able to talk to them and help have problems solved. A policeman is a public servant remember. Why shouldn't a struggling parent have a policeman give a kid a rollocking to get make them get to school. It could save kids growing up without respect for parents or the law. The takeaway one sounds silly but perhaps the customer has been ripped off by the takeaway, no one knows from the small comments in the story. Who else does the person have to complain to? what if they were changed £100 for pizza and a £5 one turned up and the takeaway told them to go away.[/p][/quote]Are you sane? Parents should bring their own children up and if a takeaway rips you off you complain to Trading Standards, neither has the slightest thing to do with the Police. If you Child or Pizza delivery driver commits an actual Crime then by all means call the Police but it should Not be to report yourself for your own stupidity! scubadude
  • Score: 8

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