Stirling Observer

Cops admit 101 call handling is concern


Local cops recently admitted that the national handling of non-emergency 101 calls was a matter of concern.

Nationally, Police Scotland chief constable Iain Livingston­e admitted last month that more than 40 per cent of non-emergency calls to police in June were abandoned by the caller, with more than 71,000 of the 101 calls ending without being answered. It took an average of five minutes to answer 101 calls that month.

The chief constable blamed increased demand and staff shortages as a result of the Covid pandemic but said Police Scotland was meeting its target of answering 999 calls within 10 seconds.

At a recent meeting of Stirling Council’s public safety committee, councillor­s praised the response of local police on community issues, including recent anti-social behaviour in Kings Park.

However, they said locals had also recounted numerous calls to the centralise­d 101 service going unanswered.

Council leader Councillor Scott Farmer said residents reported they’d failed to get through - some making 20-30 calls before giving up.

Forth Valley area commander Detective Superinten­dent Alan Gibson said:“As we have come out of lockdown and into an air of normalcy we have had unpreceden­ted calls. At some points we are talking 10,000 calls in a 24 hour period. It is unpreceden­ted - but there are capacity issues. But 999 calls are being answered as quickly as ever - however 101 is a concern that the organisati­on is aware of and it’s a live issue.”

In January 2015 Stirling councillor­s were assured by police that the closure of the Stirling police control room and the transfer of duties to Bilston Glen would not hit the local service to the public.

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