101 Funding Withdrawn

The 101 Hampshire and Isle of Wight Partnership is very disappointed about the decision by the Home Office not to further fund the 101 service, in particular the decision to only give three months notice from today’s date.

Because of the decision by the Home Office to withdraw financial support, it is unlikely that Hampshire Constabulary and local authorities will be able to continue the service in its current form beyond February 2008. However, all 101 call handling staff will remain employees of Hampshire Constabulary beyond February 2008 and will be absorbed into other areas of the call handling operation.

Deputy Chief Constable Ian Readhead said: “101 has been a catalyst for more efficient working arrangements between Hampshire and Isle of Wight partners. There are a number of processes which will continue beyond the 101 project; these include more effective staff training, improved customer service, and efficient communication between Hampshire Constabulary and the fifteen local authorities.”

Roger Tetstall, Chief Executive of Test Valley Borough Council, added: “101 provides a real opportunity to improve services to the public by developing joint working between local authorities and the police. I am disappointed that the project has been prematurely brought to an end in this way.”

The 101 service has greatly supported partnership working between local authorities and the police as well as the work of the community safety partnerships by providing valuable intelligence to all agencies.

It continuously achieved high levels of customer satisfaction with more than 90 per cent of callers being satisfied or very satisfied with the service they have received, and 96 per cent saying that they would use the service again and recommend it to friends and family. Research suggests that, over time, 101 may have increased public confidence in the ability of the police and local authorities.

I share the disappointment of both police and council officers in this withdrawal of funding. and am supporting the Liberal Democrat campagn to extend rather than curtail the service and have signed the national petition supporting this. You can sign the petition at  http://petitions.pm.gov.uk/back101/

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