As of Monday (22 June) Bedfordshire Police has been operating a new way of working.
One of the main differences is the way in which the response to calls will be managed.
Assistant Chief Constable Mark Collins explains the difference under the new model: “A big change to the way we do things is how we respond to incoming calls.
“Previously, the majority of calls were responded to in a similar way, deploying response teams on an ‘immediate’ or ‘prompt’ basis with officers being expected to attend the majority of incidents quickly.
“With insufficient numbers of officers facing a high level of demand, the force has seen response times exceeding what we consider to be acceptable and this is not good enough. The Chief Constable has made a commitment to improving response times in the force and we are confident that this new model will help to achieve that.
“Now, when calls come in, our force control room will be assessing Threat, Harm, Risk and Vulnerability as well as considering Investigation opportunities and Engagement with partners and victim support services as part of their assessment to determine the appropriate response.
“Each call will be assessed and will either be classified as ‘Fast’ resulting in the immediate deployment of a response team, or be classed as ‘Fixed’ and the caller will be offered the opportunity to meet with an officer from the new Community team, at a time and location convenient to them.
“Each case will be assessed on its own merit and we will not be applying a blanket response to certain crime types. For example, if somebody was being burgled, then we would classify this as ‘Fast’ and deploy a response team immediately.
“If however, somebody had returned from work to find that they had been burgled earlier that day, and there was no immediate urgency or threat, a scene of crime officer may attend the scene and the victim would receive a visit from an officer at a later time convenient to them. This may be later that same day or when they return from work the following day.
“This approach will enable us to ensure that we are deploying resources where they are most needed; putting the protection of people first.”