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Coronavirus (COVID-19): the policing response and what you need to know

Call handler

Working quickly and calmly, Call handlers note down essential details about the caller’s condition and location, logging the information onto our police computer system.

This information is then passed to our Dispatch Team who co-ordinate the policing response.

What does a call handler do?

A call handler:

  • answers emergency and non-emergency calls from members of public
  • resolves one call at a time using multiple systems
  • provides detailed descriptions of the incident and makes initial assessments, based on risk and vulnerability, to enable dispatchers to provide an appropriate response
  • works with police officers and police staff from all departments, signposting calls to relevant people and providing callers and officers with updates where appropriate
  • gathers and records relevant information from potentially distressed callers on the telephone
  • responds to enquiries at first point of contact, via telephone, email and internet enquiries
  • updates existing crime reports and investigate new reports of crime, making decisions on further action to be taken
What skills do I need?

A call handler may be the first contact a member of the public has with the police. This means you need to be able to:

  • stay calm under pressure
  • listen carefully to a caller whilst making detailed notes about the situation
  • deal with people who may be angry, upset or scared
  • use your initiative while following police procedures
  • work well in a team and communicate clearly to others
Recruitment process

Find out what happens once you have applied to work in our Communications Centre.

Why work for us?

We offer a rewarding career with an opportunity to make a real difference to your community. You will also benefit from flexible working, access to fitness facilities, free parking and career development opportunities.

Find out why you should work for us.

Ready to join us?

We are currently recruiting for Emergency Communications Operators (ECOs) to join our team based at Police and Fire Headquarters in Portishead.

Emergency Communications Operators is the name given to both call handlers and dispatchers. The recruitment process will reflect the requirements for each individual role.

If you are successful at the shortlisting stage, we will discuss both roles with you to assess which one best suits your skillset.


Stay up to date

Find out about our latest vacancies by registering for our job alert email service, or join our Talent Bank to be contacted about suitable vacancies.

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