South Yorkshire Police chief orders review of how the public contacts the force

News from the police.
News from the police.

A review is to be held into the way in which the public contact South Yorkshire Police.

Police and Crime Commissioner Dr Alan Billings has ordered the review following complaints from members of the public about the length of time it takes for their calls to be answered when ringing 101.

Dr Billings said: “Over the last few months it has become apparent that members of the public are not happy with the way in which they are asked to contact the police to report crime.

“The issue has been raised at the majority of meetings I have had with the public and is a cause for concern with local elected members.

“It has also been the discussion of much debate on social media. I hear time and time again that people want to be able to contact the police in ways that suit them and at times that suit them and that telephoning a number and being placed on hold is an inconvenience.

“I have listened to the concerns and have asked my office to undertake a thorough review and consultation process so that we can establish the full extent of the concerns and propose improvements to the current service.”

The overall aim of the review is to provide recommendations on how to improve the satisfaction levels of individuals contacting the police.

It will consider the performance of 101 and look at staffing levels, technology issues, the barriers to providing a good public service and the extent to which 101 is being used to handle calls that could be handled by other agencies.

Dr Billing is looking to organise focus group meetings with members of the public to establish if they felt they were listened to, taken seriously and treated fairly and with respect.

The review will also look at how members of the public would like to contact the police and be contacted by the force.

Members of staff handling 101 calls will be asked for ideas for improving the system.

Anyone interested in being part of a focus group should call 01226 774600 or email consultation@southyorkshire-pcc.gov.uk