A new £1.8million force control room (FCR) at Lancashire Constabulary’s Hutton Headquarters has officially been opened.
The three-year project saw police control room operators work from the force’s East, South and West divisions for 12 months while the renovations were completed, before being welcomed back into the “state-of-the-art” facility.
As well as upgrading IT systems to allow the 450-strong staff to provide the best possible service to the public and keep people safe, a new geographical three pod structure has been introduced.
The operators within the East, South and West pods have local knowledge of the areas they cover and the individual policing priorities the towns, cities and villages have. The localised service model, which replaced the previous system in which FCR operators handled calls for service from across the entire county, replicates the policing models within the three geographical divisions.
Among the 24-hour service within the FCR is an initial investigation hub, which is a team of officers who handle victim-related crimes over the telephone. There is also the ever-expanding digital engagement team, which handles and quickly responds to digital communication that comes into the FCR, including crimes reported via the force website.
Supt Claire Cooper-Moore, head of Contact Management, said: “I am delighted that the new and improved FCR has been officially opened and it’s fantastic to welcome back all our staff back to this purpose-built facility.
“This significant investment in facilities and staff will undoubtedly provide an improved service to the people of Lancashire.
“Alongside the rebuild of the room the operating procedures of the FCR have also undergone a significant transformation, improving call handling procedures and the skills / training of the staff; to ensure we are equipped to meet the needs of callers and our communities.
“Crucially, over the last 12 months there has been focussed engagement with the staff who have been directly involved in the redesign of the new FCR to ensure the new room meets their working and wellbeing requirements.”
Andrew Snowden, the recently-elected Police and Crime Commissioner for Lancashire, added: “People want to know that the police will be there when they need them, and a huge part of this relies on the police control room working as effectively and efficiently as possible.
“Those who work in the control room are usually the first point of contact the public will have, often during a traumatic incident, and it has been fantastic to see for myself the commitment they bring to their roles.
“With additional investment going into the force, the control room will play a vital role in helping officers be where they need to be to tackle crime, catch criminals and keep people safe.”