Tables turned for 111 callers

People who dial 111 for police help may find the tables are turned when they are called back in a bid to help police appraise their performance.

New Zealand police are conducting a survey of 10,000 people to gauge satisfaction with the police service.

A damning report in 2005 found police communications centres were inadequate. The report followed the disappearance of Auckland woman Iraena Asher after she had called 111 for help. Police sent a taxi rather than a patrol car and it went to the wrong address. Similar bungles continue to dog the service.

However, Police Assistant Commissioner Grant Nicholls said the survey was separate to any concerns about the 111 system. Rather, it was about evaluating the "whole system", from the call through to dealings with police officers.

The survey, dubbed the Citizen Satisfaction Survey 2008, began on March 12.

According to the police website, it would include a random sample of people who had dialled 111 and had their calls attended to by police communication centres.

Nicholls said the survey would also deal with a sample of people who had made "general service calls", such as a call to a local police station that because of the station being unattended was diverted to a communications centre.

In 2006, a total of 623,435 calls were made to the 111 police service, against 960,512 general calls for service, he said.

The names and numbers of recent callers to the communications centres are logged by the communications centres national management group at police national headquarters in Wellington.

However, the reason why the person made the call or any details of the call will not be disclosed or provided to the market research company contracted to complete the survey.


The Southland Times