Preet Kaur Gill, Labour MP for Birmingham Edgbaston, welcomes the improvements to West Midlands Police’s 101 response time and Live Chat service. Preet Kaur Gill has been working with the police after many residents complained about being unable to get through to law enforcement.
On 2 February 2023, Preet Kaur Gill submitted a freedom of information request with West Midlands Police regarding their 101 and Live Chat 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. Abandonments, they say, have reduced significantly as well.
In response to the report’s findings, West Midlands Police have made a wide range of commitments to improve their non-emergency services, including a “detailed improvement plan” for the future, which they are confident will move West Midlands Police to being “one of the top performing police forces in the UK at managing call demand.”
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 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. They say this will offer additional channels and crime types that can be reported online. From April 2023 people have been able report violence against women and girls' offences, missing and sexual offences via the police.uk website nationally.