County's police call handlers achieve gold award

6:40am Monday 19th May 2014

CHESHIRE Police’s Force Control Centre has been awarded an ‘Investors in People’ gold award.

Investors in People is an accreditation scheme that helps realise the potential of employees and improve standards.

The FCC, based at the force’s Winsford headquarters, had previously attained silver status in 2010.

But following its latest inspection, IIP assessors deemed that the Force had made substantial improvements that merited the sought-after accolade.

It is thought that Cheshire’s may be the first control room to attain gold status. Only 2% of the 25,000 people and organisations enrolled with Investors in People will ever achieve it.

The assessment involved three full days of interviews, with the assessor speaking to officers and staff at all levels within the FCC.

The assessor also reviewed documentation from within the department including business plans and contact management strategy.

Assistant Chief Constable Janette McCormick said: "Providing an excellent police service means being there when it matters to people. This starts when we take the call. Having well trained staff who can sensitively engage with all callers, who we invest in, and that are well led is essential.

"Achieving the Gold Investors in People award recognises all the hard work of our staff, supervisors and managers in the control room. This is a demanding and ever-changing environment where staff can face any number of requests and new ways of contact through social media.

"The Constabulary is very proud of receiving this award and the quality of staff and leadership it represents."

Head of call management, Chief Inspector Damien Smethurst, said: "This is an excellent achievement and one which I am very proud of, both for and on behalf of the department.

"I think that this demonstrates the commitment to serving the public given by everyone within the department, but also reflects the passion and professionalism that all the staff display. Special credit should also be given to David McMahon who has organised the inspection at a time of flux for both the department and himself which again reflects his professional approach to the role."

Police & Crime Commissioner John Dwyer said: "I’m absolutely delighted with the achievement which reflects the hard work put in by the Constabulary. The public can be reassured that their calls are being handled in a most professional way which is symbolised by this award."

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