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Birmingham MP Preet Kaur Gill welcomes improvements to West Midlands Police 101 response time

Birmingham Mail, August 2023

MP Preet Gill has welcomed improvements to West Midlands Police’s 101 response time and Live Chat service after it was revealed many people were giving up and calling 999.

The Labour MP for Birmingham Edgbaston has been working with the police after many residents complained about being unable to get through.

The shadow secretary of state for international development submitted a Freedom of Information request in February with West Midlands Police the service. The force revealed the response time to 101 calls has seen a drastic improvement, falling from nearly 30 minutes to between 3-5 consistently within the last few months. They say abandonments have reduced significantly as well.

Preet Kaur Gill said: “For too long, reporting a crime has been an ordeal for my constituents. I’m pleased to see the police acting on residents' concerns and working to improve their 101 response time and Live Chat service.

“There’s still a long way to go, but the force’s detailed improvement plan to revamp the service is clearly a step in the right direction. I will continue to work with the police to make sure that these changes are implemented.”

Chief Superintendent Ian Parnell, Head of Force Contact, and Chief Superintendent Richard North, Police Commander for Birmingham, said in a joint statement:

“The Chief Constable has agreed to uplift call handling staff by 66 to 309 which is a very welcome investment. We have recruited half of the additional staff and we should have completed recruitment by the end of September 2023.”

They also confirmed that the force has invested in a number of technological solutions and reviewed its policies and processes to make the system more efficient.

Regarding Live Chat, which doesn’t operate 24/7, West Midlands Police reveal they are considering moving to the national online platform called Single Online Home.

Have you tried using the 101 service? What is your experience? Let us know in the comments below.

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