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Hear from our people

We are open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, every week answering approximately 15,000 calls, helping to save and change lives on a daily basis. The best people to tell you about working in the Communications Centre are the staff who work here. Here’s what they have to say:

Nick, call handler


Ian, communications operator - dispatch

George, communications operator – dispatch

I have been working in the control room as a dispatcher for the last 18 months. This involves risk assessing the call details that the call handlers log, and then dispatching the correct resources when they are available. I have family members in the Force and have always been interested in joining. I had a Monday-Friday 9-5 job and hated it, so the shift work really appealed to me. The shift enhancement and opportunities for overtime made the role attractive too. When I applied for the role, I didn’t really know much about it so didn’t know what to expect. After 5 weeks of training I built up a picture in my mind of what the role would be like. That was well and truly blown out of the water during my first shift. It was so much more intense than I had expected. It showed me that no matter how well you are trained, there is no way it can 100% replicate what the role is really like. I think the best thing about my job is the teamwork between both the team I am on and the officers on the district. It is such a rewarding feeling when you get a positive result on a job which has involved a lot of effort from both the communications centre staff and the officers on the ground.  

Linsey, call handler

As a call handler, I am part of a large team who are the first point of contact for anyone calling us either on 999 or our non-emergency line 101. Calls can be anything from a serious crime in progress to general advice & often range from the sublime to the ridiculous! I joined my team in September following training over the summer. I was looking for a change in career and had always been interested in working for the police. I always wanted to try shift work, so this role seemed perfect. I used to be a Newborn Hearing Screener and although I loved it, after 10 years I needed a new challenge. Working face to face with members of the public (& babies) you have to be patient, understanding & non-judgemental which are three of the main qualities needed for this role. A sense of humour is also a must! I’m really enjoying the role; the best things are the variety, the people I work with and working shifts.  

Kate - Nana, Postman Pat Lover and Incident Assessor & Review Officer

KateI’m Kate and I have been working at A & S for 14 years and I love it. I began as a call handler. After 12 years I felt I needed another challenge and moved into the Incident Assessment Unit (IAU). My ambition was to be an air stewardess. But at 17 I had a motorbike accident, where I lost my leg, and I use crutches to get about. I had to make big career changing decisions to adapt to my disability. I married and had two children, and loved being a housewife and mum, but as I found myself one day laughing at Postman Pat whilst eating my lunch – and the kids were at school – I decided I needed to get a job. Working in IAU is about accuracy and is victim focused. We have to know the difference between common assault and GBH, theft and robbery. We are the first point of contact for the victim.

Luke - Loves The Night Shift Buffet and Call Handler

LukeI’m Luke and I have been a call handler for two years, answering Emergency 999 and Non-Emergency 101 calls. These have been the best two years of my life. I left University with an English degree, a lot of debt and not a lot of direction. I applied to be a police officer a couple of years ago and as I was getting through each stage of the lengthy and difficult recruitment process, I realised that I wasn’t sure I wanted to work in policing. I didn’t get the PC role on that occasion but it opened my eyes to other roles within the police that I never imagined existed. A call handler role came up and here I am. The six weeks training was challenging but I felt supported throughout. The learning however never stops. I can have someone report a shop theft, speak to a suicidal person, take details of a violent assault, and then deal with someone reporting their neighbour’s dog barking too loudly…all before I’ve had a cup of tea. If you’re thinking about a challenging, engaging and rewarding change of direction in life then this is it.