Greater Manchester Police (GMP) has welcomed its largest ever intake of 54 new call handler recruits at Sedgley Park Training Centre. The new starters are set to undergo an intensive 7-week training course and once complete, they will join colleagues in the Force Contact Centre (FCC) who are the voice of GMP.
Once they’ve completed their 7 weeks training, the new starters will then spend some time in mentoring with an established GMP call handler. After this key stage, they will then join the FCC ranks on the frontline of Greater Manchester Policing.
The FCC are often the first point of contact for victims of crime and people in crisis. The training these aspiring call handlers are set to undertake will prepare them for the thousands of emergency calls that GMP receives every single day.
The sheer volume of calls received is partly the reason why the force is bolstering its ranks to meet the demand.
The recruitment drive comes in the wake of one of the most challenging periods in GMP’s history, when the force was placed in Special Measures in June last year. At the time, it was identified the force was not responding appropriately to victims of crime and during the peak summer period of 2021, 999 callers were waiting on average 89 seconds for an answer.
Astounding progress has been made since then and at the end of August 2022 – during the period of highest demand – FCC averaged just 9 seconds to answer emergency 999 calls, which is within the national target set at 10 seconds. These improvements have resulted in the force climbing the national 999 emergency league table month on month.
Similarly, the response time to answer non-emergency 101 calls, which averaged 8 minutes in June 2021, clocked in at 50 seconds in August 2022. Innovative digital technologies have also been embraced by the force and GMP are now leading the way in live chat and online reporting.
Improvements have also been made by introducing a new incident response policy, which allows for better prioritisation of calls and co-ordinating of response. Ultimately, this means getting a faster response to the people who need it most.
The new recruits have been greeted at Sedgley Park by Chief Superintendent Chris Gibson and Head of Contact Management and Business Transformation Martine Craven.
Chief Superintendent Chris Gibson of GMP’s Force Contact Centre said: “The last year has really shone a light on the extraordinary efforts of our workforce and their determination to provide better service for our communities and the people who need it most.
“I’m delighted to see more people than ever before joining us in the FCC. Our call handlers help save and change lives every day – they work in an environment that is challenging and where demand at times can be constant. It’s also a fulfilling, hugely rewarding and inspiring career and I welcome everyone who has accepted an offer to join us.”
It’s never been a better time to join the Greater Manchester Police Force Contact Centre. The force is undergoing a major recruitment drive as part of our investment plan, which aims to secure further recruitment growth.
Join the FCC today and find out what you are capable of on the front line of policing. We have roles available in call handling, crime recording, customer enquiry and radio dispatch. Find out more, or apply today, by visiting the careers section on our website: Force Contact Centre | Greater Manchester Police (gmp.police.uk).