May 27, 2022

Statistics obtained by Scotsman through Freedom of Information legislation show that CoVID-19 was responsible for nearly half of control room staff absenteeism at the end of the year because epidemic diseases damaged public services. Was delivered

This comes at a time when opposition parties are demanding adequate funding for the 101 service to ensure that no calls are answered by police personnel.

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Average CoVID-19 absenteeism among control room staff in October and November was approximately 3%, with overall absenteeism between 12 and 15% for any reason.

Absences from Police Scotland’s control room disrupted answering 101 calls at the end of the year.

In December and January, with the rapid launch of Omicron, CoVID-19 absenteeism increased by almost 9% in the week of December 28 and by 13% in the week beginning January 4.

CoVID-19 was responsible for nearly half of all staff absenteeism, with total absenteeism – including holidays – up to 18% in the week beginning December 28 and over 22% on January 4.

As a result, there was a long wait for those who came in at number 101, although performance improved in January, as by January 22, the number of absences from Quod 19 had dropped to about 4%.

In December, it took an average of 2 minutes and 37 seconds to answer 101 calls, with the longest wait being one hour and 12 minutes.

This was significantly worse than the November average of 1 minute and 37 seconds, while January saw an improvement of 1 minute 43 seconds in December.

However, with about 60,000 fewer monthly calls in December than in the summer months, this figure was not the worst average of the year.

Pauline McNeil, a spokeswoman for Scottish Labor Justice, said “quick and timely” responses to 101 calls were critical and the figures were “extremely worrying”.

He added: “It’s very clear that despite the best efforts of the staff, the effects of the epidemic have skyrocketed waiting times.

“The only way to prevent this from happening again is to ensure proper staffing is maintained, staffing is adequately protected, and absenteeism is addressed promptly.”

Wendy Chamberlain, a Liberal Democrat deputy leader and former police officer, echoed those concerns, saying Cowade had disrupted 101.

He said: “Services like 101 are important: people who call the police can’t be stopped.

“101 Services urgently needs more resources and funds so that they can fully operate and serve the people who need it.”

A spokesman for the Scottish Conservative Justice, Jamie Green, added: “Our police officers are doing their best under intense pressure, but these absences can increase the risk of serious incidents.”

“SNP ministers have repeatedly failed to provide Scotland with the resources they need to respond to calls as soon as possible.”

Chief Superintendent Rudy Newbugging said significant investments have been made in new technologies to strengthen 101 and 999 call handling.

He added: “Late last year, we introduced a number of initiatives to promote our 101 and 999 services, both of which performed well during the festival against the backdrop of high demand and significant absence. What

“While we preferred 999 calls during the Corona virus epidemic, we maintained our 101 service despite the low capacity due to high levels of absence and physical distance.”

Want to hear more from the Scotsman political team? Check out the latest episode of our political podcast, The Steamy.

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