Bedfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner -  
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PCC throws HQ doors open to the public to visit Force Control to understand demands on Bedfordshire Police
Bedfordshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Kathryn Holloway, is supporting the Force in a community event to allow members of the public to see for themselves how the Force’s Control Room operates when taking 999 and 101 calls and the pressures on call handlers.

Officers and staff will be on hand on Sunday 14 October between 10am-12pm to discuss how the Control Room works, from answering calls and accessing other ways in which the public can now contact police, including by email and web chat, to directing resources in the most effective way. Adults and children will also be able to test out some of the equipment the team uses and see inside the main call handling areas via a video link. 

“Bedfordshire Police has an open door policy, unless you’re a criminal of course! It’s absolutely vital that local MPs, councillors and members of the public with a particularly keen interest in policing take advantage of opportunities to visit the Force Control Room to see both how calls and other crime reports are handled and to fully appreciate the hugely difficult task of call handlers in deciding which are the most urgent, life-threatening matters which require an immediate response since there are always more calls to service than officers to send straight away,” said Commissioner Holloway.

“Then people can see for themselves that, if officers don’t attend an incident of Anti Social Behaviour or a burglary where those responsible have left the scene, straight away, it’s not because of a lack of care but because they are dealing with another, even more serious, matter.

“There have been times this summer when 999 calls at the weekend have been at around double those usually expected on a New Year’s Eve. This serves as a reminder not only of how much demand has soared in policing but of the absolute need to support my efforts to get Government to finally address the historic shortfall in Bedfordshire’s funding - and, therefore, limits on its frontline - once and for all!” added the PCC.

Last month, Commissioner Holloway and Chief Constable Jon Boutcher welcomed two of Bedfordshire’s six MPs to take part in the national ‘Give a Day to Policing’ scheme. Andrew Selous, MP for South West Bedfordshire, and Mohammad Yasin, MP for Bedford, joined Response officers who were dealing with emergency incidents and then spent time with staff in the Control Room, known in policing as the Contact Centre, listening to incoming 999 and 101 calls.

“I’m particularly grateful to both Andrew and Mohammad for giving a day to policing, as asked, on a cross party basis. This is no time to bring party politics into the argument. Every government of every shade of the political spectrum has failed to grasp the nettle of Bedfordshire Police’s funding position in a county where any funding formula based on numbers of crimes will always mean it loses out to the huge metropolitan areas of population. As those who live here know only too well, this is a county which experiences all of the same urban crime challenges like terror threat, gang, gun and knife crime and county lines drug dealing out of London and other cities.

“To serve all of our communities equally as Bedfordshire Police wishes to do and to deal effectively with crime prevention and lower level crime such as Anti Social Behaviour, which can still make people’s lives a misery, we need to be on an equal footing,” said the Commissioner.

Town Council Mayors have also signed up to the scheme: Cllr Paul Mackin, Mayor of Shefford has already completed a day with Bedfordshire Police and Cllr Ken Wattingham who is Mayor of Houghton Regis, has made arrangements to visit.

Places are limited, so to take part members of the public should contact the Bedfordshire Police Customer Services Team at customer.services@bedfordshire.pnn.police.uk.