The Surrey Police Contact Centre has been commended for being one of the best in Europe.The centre has been recognised as matching the best private sector standards for call handling after receiving a highly commended rating in the European Call Centre of the Year Awards.
The prestigious award comes only days after the Home Secretary, David Blunkett, called for higher standards in police call handling performance nationally when he launched his ‘Coppers Contract’.
The commendation that the Surrey Police Contact Centre received came in the most improved performance category. Only the Halifax call centre rated better and Surrey Police beat private-sector competition from banks, insurance companies and car-hire companies, by being the only public-sector organisation to receive an award or commendation.
Superintendent Guy Darby said: ‘Not many organisations have to deal with the number and range of calls that we do whilemaintaining an emergency service .’
In one incident last May, the centre received a call from the distraught mother of a 12-year-old boy, who had just telephoned her to say he was about to commit suicide by jumping off a bridge in Staines.
The operator remained cool-headed and used her initiative to phone the mother back on a different telephone line in case her son tried to call again. The boy called back and, via the mother, the call handler managed to trace his whereabouts, by asking him to describe his surroundings.The operator continued to gather information, as well as reassure the mother, until the officers were able to locate the boy and successfully take him to hospital.
Liz Campbell, chairwoman of Surrey Police Authority, said: ‘This award is a great result and I would like to thank all the staff on the ground, whose dedication and enthusiasm made this possible. ‘
Source: Staines Guardian
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