The intention of this study is to develop a better understanding of the reactive demand placed upon police forces in relation to calls for assistance, which require a police presence or use of police resources, and how this is currently managed. It will also provide a theoretical basis for understanding the decision-making processes within control rooms and increase the understanding of the decision-making process, in particular the use of decision-making models and any additional factors that underpin call handlers decision-making.The study will be conducted in two stages combining both qualitative methods (semi-structured interviews/surveys) and quantitative methods (incident data derived from the Command and Control systems).
The first stage of the study will provide an in-depth analysis of incident data, assessing any temporal or seasonal variations in incident types. Analysis will be conducted on incident volumes, graded response, variations in the source of calls i.e 999/101/online reporting, the hour, day, and month calls are received, opening codes and response grades, variations in opening and closing codes and incidents involving a mental health qualifier. The second stage of the study will involve the distribution of surveys to control room call-handlers and dispatchers to increase the understanding of the decision-making process within control rooms, in particular the use of decision-making models and any additional factors that underpin call handlers/dispatchers decision-making. A small number of interviews will also be conducted with control room staff.