17 Nov 2013

Police outsourcing some incoming calls

12:11 pm on 17 November 2013

Police are now outsourcing the handling of some of their incoming calls to a company.

Six contractors from Datacom will work at the police northern communications centre and will answer *555 calls to free up police personnel to handle an increasing number of 111 calls.

*555 calls are described as relating to road incidents that are urgent but not life threatening.

They can include non-injury crashes, reports of erratic driving, traffic congestion, breakdowns and obstructions on the highway.

Superintendent Dave Trappitt says the Datacom staff have been trained to only take *555 calls and if an emergency comes through to them they will immediately pass it on to the police.

While crime rates are dropping, he says 111 calls have been increasing. This year there has been an increase of 35,000 calls.

Datacom is partly owned by the New Zealand Superannuation Fund, which bought the 35% stake of NZ Post in December 2012.