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New call handler system late and over budget


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System has cost 'much more than expected'.

New call handler system late and over budget

A pioneering computer system designed to handle high levels of demand in control rooms has been delayed and is over budget.

Thames Valley Police and Hampshire Constabulary worked with Microsoft to create a new £27million command and control platform in a bid to tackle an increase in missed 999 calls.

Between March and June last year 2.1 per cent of 999 calls to TVP were unanswered, compared to 1.6 per cent in the same quarter the previous year.

Figures from Hampshire Constabulary show the proportion of abandoned 999 calls rose from 0.9 per cent to 1.6 per cent during the same period.

The system was set to be switched on in Thames Valley from January and in Hampshire in March, however this has been pushed back due to "rigorous testing" and will now cost an extra £5millon.

The specially-designed software instantly brings up a caller's date and will allow police to flag up those who are a nuisance.

Information can also be recorded on the vulnerability of the caller so if they call in the future the police can provide a more tailored response in emergency and non-emergency situations.

Thames Valley Police Chief Constable Francis Habgood told a police and crime panel committee the force needed to be "confident" when launching the system.

He said: "There are some systems that you are introducing which you could say 'we can take the risk'.

"This is not one of them, because actually what we will get is a TSB type of situation where people won't be able to get through and we will not be able to manage those calls so we have to be confident in this."

Police and Crime Commissioner Anthony Stansfeld, told the panel the system had cost "much more than expected".

"I think it will be a very good system that will be adopted throughout the country when it comes in," he added.

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Does anyone know what system this force already has in place?

I wonder if successful it will be roll,ed out across all forces?

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