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Five police call centres across Lancashire to be closed
FIVE emergency police contact centres marking the first point of contact for all calls from the public are to be closed and replaced with a single centre.
Lancashire Police currently operates six call centres across the county at police stations in Preston, Hutton, Blackpool, Blackburn, Burnley and Lancaster.
But as pressure builds to meet the £43m spending cuts imposed by the Government’s Comprehensive Spending Review, police chiefs have decided to close the district centres in favour of a single venue based at Lancashire Constabulary’s headquarters in Hutton.
Police chiefs said they had already been operating ‘virtually’ on one room, so that calls could go anywhere across the county.
As well as being cost effective, it is thought the change will actually increase staff resilience.
Around 29 jobs will be affected, as the number of contact centre advisers falls from 315 to 295 and the number of team leaders falls from 26 to nine.
However, police chiefs said no redundancies would be made as they have decided not to fill current vacancies.
Fears the move would be complicated with staff have a lack of local knowledge have also been rubbished with claims up-to-date technology can see exactly where people are calling from and will enable the nearest patrol to attend.
Acting Assistant Chief Constable Tim Jacques said the move would save “millions” of pounds and would be introduced over the next 12 months.
He said: “I would reassure people that this change will in no way affect the service that people receive. Our contact centre advisors will be able to see exactly where people are calling from and using Automated Resource Location System they will be able to see which patrol is closest and therefore get a patrol out to the incident as quickly as possible.
“Ultimately what this should allow us to do, is deliver the service in a much more efficient way, making the service better whilst saving money.”
The changes are to be implemented by March.