RE Ceasing use of the NHW dedicated phone number.
Chief Inspector Ash Tuckley leads the staff within the Force Control Room at Wootton Hall and his responsibility is the efficiency and performance of the Force Control team in handling, evaluating and responding to 999 and 101 calls.
As we know, these calls are a critical communication link with the police and his team now faces an average of 9000 999 and 23,000 101 calls a month.
An impressive number of 999 calls (90%) are answered within the target of 10 seconds. The team answers 80% of 101 calls within 30 seconds to triage the call. This makes sure you are safe and well and prioritises the call into Priority A or B. Priority A are answered on average between 2-3 mins and Priority B between 4-7 mins depending on seasonal demand.
If calling on a mobile a call back service is now in place between 8am – 4pm to prevent long waits during peak demand times. These times will be extended in the near future.
The focus on improving the service on these two phone numbers using a stricter more efficient emphasis on triage, risk assessment and priority levels, has necessitated a review of the use of the dedicated Neighbourhood Watch phone number (01604 888964). The Chief Inspector tells us this number bypasses triage (i.e. no risk assessment is carried out) and the calls are automatically graded at a lower-level priority and may wait the longest, subject to other threats and risks that may be happening.
Chief Inspector Tuckley advises us that calling this number should stop and this number abandoned.
Our chair Nick King adds: "The success of the police handling 999 and 101 calls is absolutely fundamental to the success of their Response Teams as well as gathering intelligence from Neighbourhood Watch and the wider community. I’ve visited the Control Room several times and can see first-hand the pressure the team is under and the desire to improve the service. I accept that we cease promoting and using 01604 888964. Please delete from any publicity, websites, Facebook pages, etc. that you use.
“Please focus our efforts in encouraging prompt and efficient use of the non-emergency number 101, and 999 for emergencies (i.e. crime in progress). I am sure this will help C I Tuckley and his team streamline their work and improve the service.
“In our calls, NHW members should underline their involvement with Neighbourhood Watch which will in itself give integrity and authority."