Providing evidence to support police response to incidents

This project will look at the decision-process within call centres when assigning police resources.

Key details

Lead institution
Principal researcher(s)
Elaine Duncan
Police region
East Midlands
Level of research
Project start date
Date due for completion

Research context

The intention of this study is to develop a better understanding of the reactive demand placed upon police forces in relation to calls for assistance, which require a police presence or use of police resources, and how this is currently managed.

It will also provide a theoretical basis for understanding the decision-making processes within control rooms and increase the understanding of the decision-making process, in particular the use of decision-making models and any additional factors that underpin call handlers decision-making.

‚ÄčThe study will be conducted in two stages combining both qualitative methods (semi-structured interviews/surveys) and quantitative methods (incident data derived from the Command and Control systems).

Research methodology

The first stage of the study will provide an in-depth analysis of incident data, assessing any temporal or seasonal variations in incident types.

Analysis will be conducted on

  • incident volumes
  • graded response
  • variations in the source of calls (that is 999/101/online reporting)
  • the hour, day, and month calls are received
  • opening codes and response grades
  • variations in opening and closing codes
  • incidents involving a mental health qualifier

The second stage of the study will involve the distribution of surveys to control room call-handlers and dispatchers to increase the understanding of the decision-making process within control rooms, in particular the use of decision-making models and any additional factors that underpin call handlers/dispatchers decision-making. A small number of interviews will also be conducted with control room staff.

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