Police receive highest number of calls for 11 years

Inside the North Yorkshire Police control room at York police station on Fulford Road. Photograph: North Yorkshire Police on Twitter

Police are currently receiving the highest number of calls per month they have seen in more than a decade.

The number of calls to the police force control room, based at Fulford Road, has been the highest it has been in the past 11 years.

The levels have hit a new high during the past two months, according to Julia Mulligan, North Yorkshire Police Fire and Crime Commissioner.

Mrs Mulligan said “[The force control room] have made progress around recruitment.

“I think they are now pretty much up to a full complement, apart from six [full time staff] which is really good news.

“However call volumes in the past two months have been the highest for 11 years – so really significant volumes coming into the control room.”

Making progress

North Yorkshire police, fire and crime commissioner Julia Mulligan

She added: “We have seen some progress and the trajectory is good and the people are in. So I hope to see that improve further – it’s still not where we would want it to be but it is improving, largely because we’ve got people coming into post.

“They’ve also changed the way they do the training, meaning that people can train on the job now so they are more available.”

She said there is “a lot of work” going in to improving staffing levels.

Thomas Thorp from the commissioner’s office added: “There will be continuous recruitment to maintain numbers and improve performance.”

In August, the police, fire and crime panel heard that staffing levels at the force control room had been hit by the need for some employees to self-isolate.

It also heard that a back-up facility in Harrogate had been made ready to use to help maintain social distancing.

Call numbers increased as coronavirus restrictions began to be eased and extra staff, including PCSOs were brought in to help.

Online reporting for people worried about residents breaking coronavirus laws has also been launched.

The control room handles an average of 1,000 calls a day from across North Yorkshire.

And this week marks International Control Room Week, which aims to celebrate the work of emergency services’ call handlers from all over the world.