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Answering emergency telephone calls to 999
Emergency (999) calls have increased by one-quarter (24%) in the last five years and are up by 10% in the last year alone. This increase is forecast to continue.
During 2018, Dorset Police answered almost 100,000 emergency calls (99,805) – that is around one every five minutes.
-2: Significant decrease in resources available to help answer all 999 calls
With a significantly decreased budget, 999 handlers would increasingly struggle to answer calls under 10 seconds because of a decrease in the number of call handlers. An emergency would take significantly longer to respond to.
Answering 101 Non-Emergency calls
During 2018, Dorset Police answered well over a quarter of a million non-emergency calls (261,471) – that is around one every two minutes.
This is a reduction of 14% compared to 2017, but the average waiting time for non-emergency calls during January 2019 stood at 07:56mins, compared to 07.47 in January 2018 and 06.57 in January 2017.
This is partially due to the increase in the number of emails and other contacts received during the same time.
Satisfaction of 101 callers in 2019 is currently at 92%.
Answering Emails about general enquiries and low level crime
In 2018 emails and online reporting increased by 7% (2,178) on 2017. This took away some of the demand from the non-emergency 101 calls.
Responding to emergencies (where someone’s life is at immediate risk or a crime was in progress)
The force is attending less incidents, but this is also due to the increase in time taken to deal with incidents. Also the duration of calls has increased due to more in-depth assessment of threat, risk and vulnerability. The profile of demand through the year is changing with summer demand peaks starting much earlier and remaining into the autumn.
Safeguarding and protecting vulnerable people
The abuse, exploitation and neglect of any adult or child is unacceptable and Dorset Police is working with partners to stop those who commit crimes against the vulnerable. This includes victims of domestic abuse; child exploitation and modern slavery.
A dedicated team of officers work for the Dorset Police Public Protection Unit and are responsible for investigating incidents and safeguarding vulnerable people in Dorset, Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole.
Managing high risk offenders
Teams within in Dorset Police work very closely with partner agencies, especially the national probation service to manage offenders. This helps Dorset Police gather more information on high risk individuals and manage them as necessary.
The level of management and frequency of visits to offenders is dependent upon the level of risk. ‘Very high risk’ offenders are visited at least once a month, ‘high risk’ once every three months, ‘medium’ every six months and ‘low’ once a year. Each ‘visit’ is, in reality, an investigation into the offender and where possible, visits are unannounced.
Finding Missing People
The demand created by people who go missing takes up a sizeable proportion of police time. Reports of missing people have increased by almost 20% in the last year – just under 1000 additional incidents.
It is anticipated that concern for welfare calls, missing persons and mental health-related incidents will continue to form a large part of calls for service to Dorset Police.
Working with health and social care services to ensure people in mental health crisis get the help they need
In 2018 there were 7,460 mental health related incidents reported in Dorset, a rise of 28% on the previous year. Almost three quarters of these reports were graded as a high priority response. A multi-agency risk management process is in place to focus on people who cause most demand.