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

Emergency communications operator

Emergency communications operator incorporates both the roles of the call handler and dispatcher.

Recruitment for these positions will be held simultaneously and your application will be assessed for suitability across both positions.

Call handler

You will:

  • play a critical role in our response to both emergency and non-emergency calls, providing a first class service to the public
  • receive a huge variety of calls, often challenging in nature – At times you will be talking to people in potentially dangerous or vulnerable situations. They may be distressed or panicked and it is down to your ability to stay calm, make decisions and determine the most appropriate response
  • be expected to work quickly while remaining calm, to provide reassurance
  • ask the right questions and gather as much information as possible to enable our police officers to deal with the emergency incidents, support our victims and ultimately make our communities safer
  • play an integral role in making sure that our police officers are at the right place at the right time
  • work closely with our team of dispatchers to coordinate our policing response and ensure the most appropriate and necessary service is provided

Read how Kat describes her experience of a typical day as a call handler.


You will:

  • be dealing with a large amount of incidents which you will need to prioritise and quickly make decisions as to what resources are needed
  • work closely with 101 switchboard operators and call handlers to assess the calls received
  • manage multiple calls and incidents at the same time, making accurate priority assessments and then determining the most appropriate policing response, based on risk and vulnerability
  • use your judgement to advise, direct and deploy police officers
  • work in partnership with our police officers to ensure we are at the right place at the right time and liaising with other agencies as incidents unfold

Read how Aimee describes her experience of being a dispatcher.

What we offer

How we reward you is linked to our culture, it is about more than just salary. Through a package of financial, lifestyle and health benefits, we support whatever stage of life you are in:

  • competitive starting salary of £21,135 with annual increments
  • substantial salary enhancements and shift allowances of £7,185 – £7,958 per annum
  • continued professional development and training
  • Local Government Pension Scheme –  a secure, flexible and tax efficient way of making sure you have a decent pension to look forward to in retirement
  • flexible working – our Flexi Time Scheme is designed to give people a degree of flexibility on arrival and departure times
  • generous holidays – minimum of 23 days annual leave per year which increases with length of service, plus Bank Holidays
  • low cost on-site gym at Police Headquarters – open 24 hours a day
  • support and advice through our Occupational Health unit
  • a range of staff associations, wellness programs and support network groups
  • great discounts on products and services – exclusive benefits for you and your family including, shopping, days out, sporting events, dining and holidays
  • lifestyle benefits, including sports and social facilities and activities, cycle to work scheme and childcare vouchers
Shift patterns

The control room operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

You will need to be prepared to work a variety of shifts in both roles, which will include some weekends, nights and bank holidays.

For example: 07:00 – 17:00, 13:00 – 23:00 and 23:00 – 07:00

Recruitment process

Application form

Once you have completed your online application form, it will be scored against our shortlisting criteria.

Familiarisation event

If you are successful you may be invited to attend an online Familiarisation event to find out more about the role.

Assessment centre

This will involve a series of work-related assessments, for example, typing speed and multi-tasking tests.

Competency based interview

Currently being carried out by online video.

Vetting and checks

Recruitment vetting clearance requires a three year continuous residency and checkable criminal history in the UK. You will also have your financial status checked. High standards of behaviour will also be expected of you in your personal life and social media presence.


You must:

  • be aged 18 years or over on the day you submit your application
  • have lived in the UK for three continuous years, immediately prior to application
  • have leave to enter or leave to remain and work in the UK for an indefinite period
  • not be a member of the British National Party or other relevant organisations
  • not have served a prison sentence
  • have the ability to commit to a shift pattern which covers a 24/7 period

Ready to join us?

Recruitment is now closed.

Contact our Talent Acquisition team to make a recruitment related query.

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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