A Police car speeding down the road with its flashing blue lights on Image: iStock

Changes to improve service

Bedfordshire Police has changed the way it answers 101 calls to improve the service for people who need it the most, and to manage call wait times.

The 101 service is now assigned based on the threat, risk and harm of each call. Callers are prioritised through a triage team and transferred to a relevant call handler, who will deal with their matter depending on the nature of their call and the urgency of the required police response.

This way, the public won’t be stuck in a queue for a long period of time. The 999 service will remain the same and should be used in an emergency or if a crime is still in progress.

The force has a number of ways people can make contact. If a call doesn’t require immediate police attendance, people can use the online reporting tool or request a call back.

Force Contact Centre Chief Inspector Jamie Langwith said:

“Our contact centre is open 24/7 and it is our responsibility to provide our services to those who need it the most. Sadly we still receive a number of calls which should have been directed to our partners or to the local authority.

“With this change in the way we assign calls, we hope to reduce the waiting time for callers, and give priority to people in genuine need of a police response. We would also like to reassure the public that each call will be directed to an appropriate call handler in order to provide the highest level of service.

“We hope this will improve the waiting time for the remaining callers, who can always request a call back at a more appropriate time.”