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About You

Our team of call handlers and communications operators come from all walks of life but they have one thing in common - they’re the first point of contact for anyone who needs help in Avon and Somerset.

There are two main roles in the Communications Centre:

Call handlers

Whether a serious crime is in progress as you take the call, a child’s gone missing, or someone is reporting an abandoned car, you’ll be on the frontline, answering the call and helping the caller.

Communications Operators – Dispatch

Working closely with the teams that answer 999 and 101 calls, you’ll use your judgement to advise, direct and deploy police resources – this could be the difference between life and death. Whether there has been a serious road accident, a burglary is in progress or a person is missing, you’ll be making the decision about how we respond.

Which role is for you?

Call handlers and communications operators work together closely but different skills are needed for each of the roles:


Call handler

Communications operative

Answers calls from members of public, for both emergency and non-emergency calls

Determines the response to calls we have received

Resolves one call at a time

Can be dealing with multiple calls/ incidents at the same time

Provides detailed descriptions of the incident and makes initial assessments, based on risk and vulnerability, to enable communications operators to provide an appropriate response

Makes accurate risk assessments, determining the most appropriate response based on risk and vulnerability.

Works with officers and Police staff from all departments, signposting calls to relevant people and providing callers and officers with updates where appropriate

Works closely with response officers to ensure we are at the right place at the right time

Gathers and records relevant information from potentially distressed callers on the telephone

Co-ordinates incidents dynamically via radio, liaising with other agencies as incidents unfold

Responds to enquiries at first point of contact, via telephone, email and internet enquiries

Gathers information obtained by the call handler and from police systems before deciding appropriate response

Updates existing crime reports and investigate new reports of crime, making decisions on further action to be taken.

Accurately records relevant information for every incident, reassuring victims and facilitating investigations if required.

Recruitment for Communication Operators and Call Handlers is ongoing throughout the year. You can make sure you don't miss out by registering for our email service.