The hard work and achievements of the Sussex Police Communications Department have been celebrated at an awards ceremony, honouring the work that is done each day by call-takers, CCTV operators, controllers and supervisors.
More than 40 awards were handed out over the course of the evening, where staff were able to share their successes with their families and colleagues.
Chief Superintendent Wayne Jones, head of communications, paid tribute to their work and said, “Dealing with 999 or 101 calls from the public takes a certain type of person. Callers may be in danger, feeling vulnerable, distressed, concerned or frustrated. Staff answering the phones have to be calm and reassuring, yet fast-thinking and proactive, using sound investigative skills and diligence to get to the heart of the matter quickly and get the correct help for each particular caller.
“The calls we receive are so varied; our call-takers and CCTV operators deal with armed robberies, suicide attempts, serious traffic collisions, hostage situations, and repeated anti-social behaviour. Thanks to the staff’s instinct, training and hard work, the Communications Department plays a great part in making Sussex a safer place.”
Among the incidents praised at the ceremony were those involving Communications staff helping to track a suicidal man, armed robbers and missing children.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank staff for their on-going individual and collective contribution towards making Sussex a safer place. The awards celebrated some first class performance within the Communications Department, with some great personal and team achievements.
“Their efforts and professionalism is further evidenced with excellent year end performance results, which show that Sussex Police received 219,958 emergency 999 calls, answering 96 per cent within 10 seconds. This is the ninth year in a row Sussex Police has achieved well over the 90 per cent target answering 999 calls.
“The switchboard received 866,447 non-emergency calls answering 95.8 per cent within 30 seconds, and the contact centre received 556,084 calls answering 73.6 per cent within 60 seconds, and handled over 65,000 e-mails.
“CCTV operators played a significant role in 49,878 incidents. Through their vigilance, spotting incidents occurring or looking for suspects, 732 people were arrested, placing us among the best in UK policing.
“These are fantastic achievements for staff within Comms who have either directly handledcalls, resourced incidents or supported staff in these roles and we should be hugely proud of this success.”