Cleveland Police pledge to improve response to public in £1.4 million control room recruitment drive

Over 40 new jobs have been created within Cleveland Police to help it keep up with demand in a £1.4 million investment.

By Mark Payne
Monday, 27 May, 2019, 14:22
Cleveland Police

A recruitment drive has begun to find 41 Force Contact Officers who will work in the police control room answering 999 and 101 calls from the public and sending officers to incidents or investigate crime.

The force says the investment, funded through the police's share of council tax, will have improve responses on the frontline.

Last year, Cleveland Police received over 100,000 emergency 999 calls.

It comes after senior officers and Police and Crime Commissioner, Barry Coppinger, pledged significant investment for the control room to deal with increasing demand from the public and reduce pressure for officers on the ground.

Assistant Chief Constable Jason Harwin said: “The control room is the heartbeat of the organisation and often the first contact that we will have with victims of crime, vulnerable people and those in danger.

“Great decision making in the control room reduces pressure and bureaucracy for officers on the ground, so it is important that we invest in ensuring we can maintain a timely response when the public needs us most.

“The new jobs will benefit our local communities and will have a direct impact on improving responses on the frontline by working more efficiently in the control room environment.”

Following the recruitment drive, the full control room team will have 217 posts dealing with incidents over the phone and supporting officers on the ground.

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Last September, Hartlepool councillor Tony Richardson raised complaints from residents unhappy with the response of police from 101 calls at a meeting of Hartlepool Borough Council's South and Central Community Forum.

Mr Coppinger made a commitment to review the service provided by the Control Room in his Police and Crime Plan, a 70-point blueprint for improving services for victims and investing in community safety.

He said: “This is great news for the local area with over 40 new jobs being created on Teesside, direct on the frontline.

"The public rightly expects a high level of service when they call 999 or 101 and I know from the community meetings I attend that residents want the Force to improve in this area.

“That’s why reinvigorating the control room became a key commitment in my Police and Crime Plan and I’m pleased that following an increase to the policing precept, this vision can become a reality.

“I know our new Chief Constable, Richard Lewis, shares my vision to strengthen the control room and I will continue to closely monitor the Force to ensure they are providing the service every resident should expect when they contact the police.”

The deadline for people to register their interest in becoming one of the new control room officers ended last Wednesday.