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Contact handling policy

Dated: 17 May 2016

POLICY TITLE: Contact Handling Policy


AUTHOR: Communications Department Manager

CONTACT DETAILS: Communications Centre Manager, 101



AIM OF POLICY: To provide the public with an effective and efficient contact management process, which embraces the concept of customer focus and tailors the access offered and the service provided to users’ actual needs and expectations.

BENEFIT OF POLICY: Supports the aims of the QoSC (Quality of Service Commitment) to improve the level of service given to members of the public and to ensure the same high quality of service whenever they contact the police and to increase customer satisfaction.

REASON FOR POLICY: Northumbria Police is committed to the aims of the Police and Crime Plan 2017 - 2021 and the QoSC, and this commitment includes all contact from members of the public. The aims are repeated in the National Contact Management Strategy (2012).


When handling public requests for service or advice, Northumbria Police will deal with all calls promptly and ‘in accordance’ with National Call Handling Standards by:

  • Giving priority to genuine emergency calls and processing them in line with best practice.
  • Processing less urgent calls in a consistent and appropriate manner.
  • Operating a Single Call Resolution Model in which callers are answered by trained and knowledgeable operators, who will endeavour to resolve calls at the first point of contact.

Northumbria Police will provide clear guidance to all staff within the force on how to deal with callers in line with the above standards using a THRIVE (Threat Harm Risk Investigative Vulnerability Engagement) methodology, to assess and prioritise all calls.

This is linked directly to the force targets on answering emergency calls, non-emergency calls and attendance / resolution times for all incidents.

This policy refers to the following forms of contact:

  • 999 calls (including the 999-text service)
  • 101 and other non-emergency calls
  • Direct Dial inwards (DDI)
  • SMS (community text messaging)
  • E-mail
  • On line reporting
  • Facsimile
  • Internal calls
  • Weather phones (located at each station force wide).
  • Webchat

This will be achieved by following the procedures within the Northumbria Police Call Handling Plan.


SOURCE DOCUMENT: National Contact Management Principles and Guidance (Channel Strategy)



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