Police Scotland invests in new digital contact platform for 999 and 101 services

Police Scotland is introducing a new digital contact platform that will strengthen its critical 999 and non-emergency 101 services.

Jan 18, 2022
By Paul Jacques
Picture: Police Scotland

The new technology will replace the current analogue telephony infrastructure and bring “greater resilience” to these essential services.

Police Scotland said it is also a “significant milestone” in its commitment to make contact with the police more accessible, relevant and responsive to the needs of the public.

It is a major investment in the force’s contact network, and for the 999 and 101 services, with an initial capital spend of £1.2 million and ongoing revenue costs of £20.7 million over the duration of the seven-year contract.

Assistant Chief Constable John Hawkins said: “This significant investment in new technology for our service will further protect and strengthen our emergency 999 and non-emergency 101 services for the public.

“We have taken action to support our 999 and 101 services and they performed well over the festive period against a backdrop of high demand and significant absence. Our committed officers and staff continue to provide a good service and prioritise our 999 emergency calls which are answered in under ten seconds on average.

“The new digital system will provide greater resilience for these critical services and enable us to develop further ways the public can engage, making it easy, convenient and safe to contact the police.”

He added: “Proposals to introduce additional contact methods will be subject to consultation and engagement with our communities and I would emphasise that face-to-face and telephone contact through 999 and 101 will always be available. We know that being visible and making personal contact is important to our communities.”

The new digital technology will also provide better quality data to support workforce planning for Police Scotland’s national service centres during periods of peak demand, and it will ensure 999 and 101 services continue to operate when analogue services are switched off in 2025.

The system is part of Police Scotland’s commitment under its Public Contact and Engagement Strategy and Data, Digital and ICT Strategy, being delivered under the Modernised Contact and Engagement Programme.

Andrew Hendry, chief digital information officer who is leading on Police Scotland’s digital transformation, said: “The needs of the public will always be at the heart of any new service design and we aim to provide modern and easy-to-use options for people who need to contact their police service.

“This enabling technology is part of our wider digital transformation and will form a foundation across Police Scotland that other parts of the organisation will utilise and build upon.”

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