New LiveChat function to change how you contact us
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We’re changing the way you can contact us as part of our commitment to ensure we help you as quickly, and in the best way we can, from the moment you get in touch with us.
The change will mean that you will no longer be able to report crime on Facebook or Twitter, but will be able to speak to a Force Control Room Operator 24/7 via a new ‘LiveChat’ option which will be available on our website. You will also be able to continue to report crime directly on our website.
How live chat works
Our live chat triage contact staff will quickly and accurately identify the nature of the request, access the level of urgency and determine the next course of action. Once the information has been gathered, the request will be categorised. In some cases, when someone is in immediate danger or harm or there is a crime in progress, the request may be given the highest priority and actioned immediately. In other cases, such as non-urgent requests for information, general enquiries or when reporting a crime which is not in progress you may be signposted to the force website.
This LiveChat function will be activated at around 7am next Tuesday (7 February). It has been brought in as we continue to look at better ways of responding to you, while also ensuring that what you tell us is communicated to who needs to know within the organisation as quickly and effectively as possible.
This new scheme will mean that, from the moment you start a LiveChat with us, a dedicated Force Control Room Operator will be across your case and will be responsible for making sure what you are talking to us about is dealt with in the most appropriate and proportionate way.
The aim of this change is to make our service be more streamlined in the methods we use to communicate with you and to make sure that you get the support you need from the first point of contact with us.
The LiveChat function is also a more effective way of those with impairments of getting in touch with us and we have a duty to make sure that our service is as accessible as possible to everyone. This new way of reporting offers a more convenient and efficient form of getting in touch as well as allowing those with hearing and physical impairments to be able to report a crime or incident from the comfort of their own home, directly to a Force Control Room Operator.
It is hoped that this change will enable us to reduce waiting times on our non-emergency 101 service, as well as provide clear instructions on how best you can get in touch with us.
We will also be able to signpost to other agencies more effectively as Force Control Room Operators can direct you to the best person to speak to about your concerns straight away, while LiveChat integrates with our existing systems better than social media, which will hopefully result in a quicker and more effective response for you.
Chief Superintendent, Emily McCormick, who has led on the change as part of the force’s control room, said: We are implementing this change to deliver a better and more responsive service for our communities.
“As part of this, we have invested in our control room to provide additional staff, helping us to reduce wait times on both 999 and 101 calls. This new LiveChat function will, we hope, help with this too.
“The new way of reporting will mean you get to speak to a person, not a robot, straight away and will be supported throughout the process of allocating your call to the best department or signposting you to the most suitable agency.
“We understand that many people continue to use social media on a daily basis, however, we believe such channels are no longer the best option for reporting crime in our communities.
“LiveChat will be accessible to all, easy to navigate and an overall better way of speaking directly to us when you need to.”
We will still continue to post on social media ourselves about things we think may be of interest to you. We will also continue to issue Smart Alerts and press releases to keep you informed of what is going on in your area.
It is important that you do not message us on social media to report crime or concerns from 7 February as we will no longer be able to respond to you on these platforms.
Remember to call 101 or use our LiveChat if there is no threat to life or call 999 in an emergency.