Our New Approach
Police Scotland has a new way of assessing calls to its 101 and 999 service that enables specially trained police officers and staff to make an enhanced assessment of threat, harm, risk and vulnerability.
Our new approach offers a wider range of options to provide assistance based on the callers needs and circumstances.
This can include immediate attendance at the incident or within a specified timeframe, an appointment with a police officer or assistance directly over the phone.
We have removed default call grading so that each call is individually assessed rather than a “computer says go” approach. This empowers our workforce to make decisions based on facts and circumstances.
We have also moved from 6 categories of grading to 4. These are:
Immediate - Where circumstances dictate there is a threat to life, property or an ongoing incident that requires a dynamic police response.
Prompt - Dispatch as soon as possible, supervisor will review after 45 minutes.
Standard - A Local Policing Appointment (LPA) or telephone appointment is scheduled.
Other Resolution - Advice and signposting.
These changes allow us to respond to every call in an appropriate and proportionate manner.
How does this work?
Each call will go through a process called THRIVE to ensure it gets the most appropriate response. This allows the police to consider 6 key factors on every call:
Threat - Is there a threat and who or what is the threat?
Harm - If the threat is carried out, what is the likely level of harm?
Risk - What is the likelihood of threat occurring and what’s the level of risk?
Investigation - The process of examining a situation, problem or crime scene. This could involve CCTV or witness statements for example.
Vulnerability - Adversity can affect anyone at any point in their life, it can be physical, mental or emotional. Identifying indicators of vulnerability is key to an effective assessment.
Engagement - What is the most appropriate response?
If an immediate or prompt police response is required, the call is passed to the Area Control Room and most suitably located, skilled and equipped police officers are dispatched.
If the call does not require an immediate response it will be passed to a new specialist team of police officers and staff for further assessment.
They will review the incident and consider best course of action. This could be the opportunity to make an appointment to speak with a police officer, to record a crime over the phone or a referral to a partner service for specialist support.
Our new approach offers a wider range of resolution options based on individual needs and circumstances. It also increases our ability to dispatch police officers to urgent incidents, which means we can get to the people who need us most, when they need us most.
Our new approach has been introduced in phases and is now live across all Police Scotland divisions.
As a proof of concept, it was initially tested in Lanarkshire and Dumfries and Galloway Divisions in summer 2019 and was proven to be very successful, both in terms of improved quality of service to the public and in managing police demand more efficiently, ensuring officers were available at the times they were needed.
As a result it was agreed to roll out this new approach to all parts the country. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, its roll out was accelerated to bring a consistent approach to risk assessment for the whole country and was completed in April 2020.
We spoke to officers and staff to get their feedback on how this new approach had changed the way they worked:
“This has made a huge difference in the ability of Controllers to manage and resource priority incidents. Being able to have non-dynamic incidents and calls best attended by partner agencies or being resolved differently has benefited the force greatly.”
“We now have more information when we attend an incident and have a better understanding of what to expect. We know that if the Resolution Team cannot deal with it then our attendance is required.”
“The calls we are going to make sense, these are the calls we should be going to.”
“We can spend more time at our calls and can get our enquiries done.”
Have any questions?