Emergency calls service for Cleveland Police is set to be operated by the force from May after being privately operated for almost 10 years.
Cleveland Police has announced that the Force Control Room will transfer back from Sopra Steria on May 1 this year, as part of the Transforming Cleveland Police programme.
Police and Crime Commissioner Barry Coppinger made the decision last year that the Sopra Steria contract would not be extended beyond its natural end in October 2020.
The control room, which handles 999 and 101 calls from the public, will be brought back sooner than planned to allow senior officers to bring in the necessary changes to support frontline policing.
The decision to return the control room to Cleveland Police has been made in mutual agreement with Sopra Steria, with all parties agreeing that it is the right step to manage the current demands placed on the force.
All control room staff, including call handlers, that are directly employed by Sopra Steria will TUPE transfer to Cleveland Police.
Assistant Chief Officer Brian Thomas said: “The control room is at the heart of our daily interactions with the public and the way people want to communicate with us has changed over time. By bringing the control room back in-house this year we can implement changes with increased flexibility to help us meet the demands that we face and our responsibilities to local people.
“We have a good partnership with Sopra Steria and they have assisted us with achieving financial savings over the term of the contract.”
Police and Crime Commissioner Barry Coppinger said: “We began our partnership with Sopra Steria nearly a decade ago and since 2010 the numbers of emergency calls into Cleveland Police has risen dramatically over recent years. The Force received 23,000 more 999 calls in 2018 than in 2010, an increase of 28%.
“I am committed to refocusing and boosting the control room and support the early return back to the Force which will allow for a renewed way of working in these current times.”