Police Enquiry Centre Operator and Communications Operator


Video transcript

  • CRED video transcript

    CRED - Holly

    [Caption: Control Room & Enquiry Centre, Holly]

    [Caption: Holly, Police Enquiry Centre Operator]

    Hello my name is Holly. I have been working here in the Enquiry Centre for the last four years, I’m a Police Enquiry Centre Operator.

    [Caption: Why did you join TVP in this role? #TVPstory]

    I would describe myself as a people person and this role definitely fulfils that for me, I get to speak to members of the public every single day and I can help people that I wouldn’t – you know – I get to experience things that I wouldn’t experience in another office based environment. Dealing with members of the public that rely on me to help and support them on a day-to-day basis and that for me is the most important part of my role.

    [Caption: What sort of calls do you take? #TVPstory]

    We deal with a variety of calls here in the Enquiry Centre: Emergency calls, non-emergency calls, calls from victims of offences, from potential offenders or suspects in cases, calls from partner agencies such as Social Services or the Fire Brigade or the Ambulance Service and calls from officers who have attended incidents and are ringing back to confirm ‘yes a crime has taken place’ and wanting to record it on our systems.

    [Caption: What do you enjoy most about your role? #TVPstory]

    The variety that the role provides is a huge bonus for me; every day is completely different, the type of calls that you get, the people that you deal with and speak to on a day-to-day basis varies from minute-to-minute.

    [Caption: What are the challenges of the role? #TVPjobs]

    When that phone rings, you don’t know what you are going to be answering to; it could be someone who’s just experienced the most horrific crime, it could be someone looking for some advice or it could be someone simply wanting to report some lost property and whilst that makes it exciting, it makes every day different, it’s hard sometimes to prepare yourself for what you are going to get on the end of that phone.

    [Caption: How does shift allocation work? #TVPstory]

    Your shifts that you do are preference based, you can chose particular days off if you have commitments on those particular days, you can request to work particular types of shifts and they will always do their best to work around you and what fits and works for you.

    [Caption: What advice would you give to applicants? #TVPstory]

    Really think about your application and prep well for your interview, [Caption: Practice your typing skills, 30 words per minute required] practice your typing skills, obviously the work we do here requires good computer knowledge, being able to type at a reasonably fast pace, practice, practice, practice, as soon as you’ve got that under your belt it does become sort of second nature to you. In terms of your interview, think about your previous life experiences, any experience that you might have been in before where you have dealt with a member of the public, a family member, a friend, any experience that you’ve had you will be able to draw from and use within your interview but think about it first. [Caption: Provide clear examples, consider all of your experience] Think about key examples that you can take in with you so you are not stumbling over your words in your interview and you can practice what you are going to say so you seem well prepared. [Caption: Attend a recruitment evening, book your place today] Other advice would be to try and attend one of our recruitment open events in one of our Control Rooms or Police Enquiry Centres, come and experience the work that we do, get to see the environment you will be working in and potentially talk to people who are doing the role and get some experience and knowledge from them.

    [Caption: www.thamesvalley.police.uk/joinus #TVPstory]

Open Vacancies

Events: We regularly run recruitment events at our Police Enquiry Centre in Kidlington. These are a fantastic opportunity to learn more about the role and ask any questions you might have. To book your place at the event, please email: CR&EDRecruitmentEventKidlington@thamesvalley.pnn.police.uk

  • 4 February 2017 (1000-1200, HQ North, Kidlington, OX5 1NZ)
  • 21 February 2017 (1830-2030, HQ North, Kidlington, OX5 1NZ)
  • 9 March 2017 (1830-2030, HQ North, Kidlington, OX5 1NZ)

As a call handler (trainee communications operator or a trainee police enquiry centre operator), you’ll play a critical role in our response to emergencies, either taking down vital details from the caller, or co-ordinating police assistance. With our training, you’ll become a fully-fledged professional (and enjoy a corresponding pay increase).

The role

Our call handlers need to be ready to deal with 999 and 101 calls from members of the public 24/7. Our officers need as much information as possible and you'll have the crucial task of communicating with callers and carefully recording the details they relay. The role of a call handler also includes managing radio talk groups; this means communicating with officers on the ground providing them with vital information in a timely manner. To work as a call handler, you must be able to multi task and work under pressure.

As part of your initial development you will have the opportunity to complete a vocational qualification in Police Service Communication and Control accredited by SFJ Awards.

The essentials

In roles such as these, a calm, detail-focused and logical approach is essential. You must be able to talk to people and gain crucial information, often in highly stressful situations. It’s also important that you can work with a computerised system and audio type at least 30 words per minute. Literacy is vital and a good standard of education will help. It will be useful if you have worked in an environment dealing with people e.g. customer service before and have the ability to use your initiative, common sense and judgment to solve problems.

For current vacancies vist our vacancy page (opens new window)

Detailed advice on how to complete our application form and recruitment process can be found alongside each vacancy.