THE first point of contact for most people with the police is when they phone for help. Changes to the Solihull Police call handling system as part of Continuous Improvement mean that help should be faster and easier to access.
A new team called the ‘incident resolution team’ will handle all calls and be able to solve queries from the first point of contact without having to bounce the caller around the system.
If they can’t solve your problem on the spot then they will offer you an appointment to meet an officer at your convenience. This appointment could be at your home, at a local police station or somewhere on your neighbourhood.
Sometimes when you call the police what you most need is an officer on your doorstep as fast as possible.
The incident resolution team has direct access to a police response team whose sole purpose is to respond fast to crimes in progress or other incidents where police officers need to be on the scene quickly.
The response team has been streamlined and their workload reduced so they can really focus on rapid response. In the past this team investigated crimes and carried a paperwork burden that they had to juggle with the demands of being on rapid call-out.
That burden has been taken away from them so that the team can concentrate on getting to members of the public in distress quickly and scenes of crimes early so they can catch criminals in the act and secure vital evidence.
Besides making arrests, the team have the power to issue fixed penalty notices for more minor crimes and use community resolutions – a process which gives the victim a say in how the offender should pay for lower level crime, such as minor criminal damage and shoplifting.
Response team Sergeant Aaron Beck said: “Simplifying our role means we can concentrate on delivering a prompt and quality service to Solihull residents reporting emergency incidents.
“We have also made sure that the staff on the team have the right skills and experience to deal professionally with unfolding events. I hope it’s reassuring for the people of Solihull to know that when they pick up the phone we are poised at the other end to take action.”
Working with Solihull Police throughout these changes are the Independent Advisory Group (IAG), a group of local people who represent various communities across Solihull.
They provide a critical friend perspective regarding strategic issues that affect policing in Solihull.
Malcolm Coall, IAG member said: “The Independent Advisory Group were recently consulted regarding the proposed changes for Solihull.
“The public quite rightly should be at the heart of all aspects of policing.
“We are confident of their desire to provide a high quality service to all members of the community across the borough, whether residents, business or visitors.
“The Incident Resolution Team, as the name suggests, will often be the first point of contact and a key step in providing an appropriate response and most importantly a satisfactory outcome to all calls for service.
“All members of the IAG, who are drawn from diverse communities across the borough, welcome any feedback on the new service as it rolls out from 1 June.”