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Posted on Wednesday 8 June 2022

Nine call handlers have joined the force control room floor after weeks of rigorous training.

The operators, who have now all passed their initial call handler course began their first ever shift on Monday (June 6).

They will be the first point of contact offering immediate and emergency support to the communities of County Durham and Darlington, answering both 999 and 101 numbers.

Last year, Durham Constabulary received more than 96,000 calls on the 999 number, of which 37.2% were grade one emergencies requiring an immediate response.

Control room supervisor, Hayley Gibson said: “I’m delighted to welcome our new handlers into post.

“The call handlers play an absolutely vital role in getting people the help they desperately need.

“They are the first point of contact a victim has with Durham Constabulary and I am confident that these new call handlers will ensure victims receive the best service from the moment they dial for our help.

“I wish them all the best in their new and exciting careers.”

PCC Joy Allen welcomed the news saying: “Often the person answering the call is the first contact people have with the police and it is so important that the call is answered swiftly and professionally.

"The public asked for call handling to be made a priority and I pledged to support that agenda.

"I know that the voice on the end of the phone can provide vital support in times of great stress and has a big impact on the caller’s overall trust and confidence in policing.

"I’m delighted to see the call handling team’s capacity boosted by a further nine members of staff and I wish them all well in their new role.”

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