A police inspector moved to defend the police non-emergency 101 number after a councillor branded it ‘worthless’.
Boston Borough Councillor Stephen Woodliffe made the comments during a Boston Town Area Committee meeting question and answer session with Insp Jim Manning.
Insp Manning had explained to councillors that the 101 force control room – which employed a G4S team lead by a control room inspector – had recently started a new Threat Harm Risk Investigation Vulnerability and Engagement (THRIVE) system .
This aimed to reduce the amount of incidents officers attended by filtering them.
Coun Woodliffe said he had been contacted by a man who had tried to contact 101 on numerous occassions, adding that ‘a lot of people have no time for it’ and ‘have had no satisfaction at the end of it’.
He said; “I don’t think the officers in authority who run 101 have had lengthy discussions with officers in G4S.”
He added: “I know the 101 services have a purpose, but unless it delivers it’s a worthless service.”
Coun Yvonne Stevens also criticised the service, illustrating her point with two incidents which she had reported but felt she hadn’t got a result from.
Insp Manning defended the system saying that although the new system meant call-handlers were asking more questions, from October this year, out of 14,369 calls received, 70 per cent of calls (10,058) were answered within 30 seconds – meeting the target set in the contract.
The other 30 per cent took longer, he noted, with six per cent of calls (862) hanging up before being answered – just above the contract target of five percent.
He said officers had attended 30 per cent less incidents through this method – including those they would have attended under the old system which they shouldn’t have.
Couns Paul Gleeson and Brian Rush joined other councillors in defending the force, saying that the problem was an ‘underfunded’ police force – and the Government should be their target.