Saturday, 13 February 2016

Don't Expect Police To Help When You Call 101

It was good to read the article by Maurice Smith in the Herald Scotland (see here).

Maurice has discovered, like me, that the calls you make to the Police Scotland 101 number are pretty much a waste of time. You shouldn't expect police to actually do much, if anything, about your call.

101 is really just a number where a call handler on the other end of the line takes a note that you've called and records the incident - nothing actually gets done.

I realised this some time ago when I called 101 to advise police in Glasgow that some kids were throwing stones off the bridge over the busy M8 motorway. A broken windscreen at 70mph could easily cause a dangerous pile up - it could lead to deaths.

Now you may wonder why I called 101 and not 999? Well, it was a very busy motorway so I had a reasonable expectation that lots of other drivers would have reported the same incident too. Either way, the 101 call handler would escalate it to a 999 urgency if it hadn't already been done.

So, I made the call, the 101 operator made a note of my call...and I never heard another word from police again.

Nothing.

Did police investigate? Humm, I don't know.

Did they catch the culprits? Humm, I don't know.

What I do know is that all they appear to do at 101 is make a record of calls that come in. That's pretty much it.

I remember when 101 was hailed as a new and exciting method of communication for the public to get in touch to the police. The idea was that 999 would be for emergencies and 101 for non emergencies, help, and advice etc. The new 101 number was supposed to help prioritise calls, channel them to the right place, and therefore increase police efficiency and improve their service to the public.

What a load of rubbish.

As is always the case with untrustworthy Police Scotland, we now discover that the 101 'idea' was purely intended to make it seem like they were doing something to improve communications with the public. In reality they have effectively done nothing.

Except pull the wool over the Scottish publics eyes - again.