Call staff are recognised as Police hit 999 target again

Police call takers
Police call takers

999 call takers and CCTV operators have been awarded by Sussex Police.

More than 40 awards were handed out at a special ceremony recently.

Examples of good work over the past six months include an investigation carried out using Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) to trace a vehicle used in an armed robbery at a convenience store .

As a result the vehicle was located and stopped by the Tactical Firearms Unit and three men were arrested on suspicion of attempted robbery.

Chief Superintendent Wayne Jones, Head of Communications, paid tribute to their work and commented: “Dealing with 999 or 101 calls from the public takes a certain type of person. Callers may be in danger, feeling vulnerable, distressed, concerned or frustrated.

“Staff answering the phones have to be calm and reassuring, yet fast-thinking and proactive, using sound investigative skills and diligence to get to the heart of the matter quickly and get the correct help for each particular caller.

“The calls we receive are so varied; our call-takers and CCTV operators deal with armed robberies, suicide attempts, serious traffic collisions, hostage situations, and repeated anti-social behaviour.

“Thanks to the staff’s instinct, training and hard work, the Communications Department plays a great part in making Sussex a safer place.

“This is the ninth year in a row Sussex Police has achieved well over the 90% target answering 999 calls.

“The switchboard received 866,447 non-emergency calls answering 95.8% within 30 seconds, and the contact centre received 556,084 calls answering 73.6% within 60 seconds, and handled over 65,000 e-mails. CCTV operators played a significant role in 49,878 incidents within Sussex. Through their vigilance, spotting incidents occurring or looking for suspects, 732 people were arrested, placing us among the best in UK policing. These are fantastic achievements and we should be hugely proud of this success.”