Northumbria Police need 50 new call handlers

Northumbria Police is taking on 50 new emergency handlers to help with the high number of calls the force is dealing with.

Friday, 3rd December 2021, 1:46 pm
Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Kim McGuinness.

Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Kim McGuinness wants the extra staff, and six team leaders, in place by February following a significant rise in the number of 101 and 999 calls.

999 calls received since February have been the highest in the decade – and this has had a knock-on effect on the 101 service.

The commissioner says the new roles are part of the force’s ongoing commitment to improving the service it provides to local residents.

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For the 12 months to September 2021, 999 calls increased by six per cent compared to the previous 12 months – to an average of 880 calls a day between July and September 2021.

Ms McGuinness said: “If any of us pick up the phone in an emergency, of course we want a quick response.

“We all know our police are up against it – not just in the aftermath of the pandemic – and pressure really is on to meet growing, complex and higher-risk demands but we’re repairing the damage done by chronic government cuts.”

She continued: “The police undoubtedly need more people.

"The chief constable and I recognise this, and that’s why we are recruiting well above and beyond government targets to get officers on the streets, but the recruitment of officers is only half the battle.

"The bottom line is we need more people answering the phones too.”