Cumbria police release new 'call back' function to cut waiting times

The public can use the function for non-emergency calls Credit: PA

Cumbria police have launched a new call back function to cut waiting times for those wanting to report non-emergencies to 101.

Instead of waiting in a phone queue, those calling can be called back by an officer once they are at the front of the queue.

Superintendent Carl Patrick said: "During busy periods, someone calling 101 may face a delay of several minutes getting through to a police officer, as emergency 999 calls are always prioritised.

"We recognise that this can be frustrating, being kept on the phone as you wait to reach the head of the queue. However, the new call back option allows you to get off the phone whilst holding your place in the queue, and receive an automatic call once you reach the front.

"Once you answer the call back you will then rejoin the queue and be next in line to speak with a police officer in our Command and Control Room."

This will be provided as an option during a busy period when there is a queue on the 101 phone line.

The caller will hear the following message: "We are currently experiencing high demand. If you would prefer for us to call you back when you reach the front of the queue, please press 1."

They will then follow the prompts, end the call and then receive a call back when they reach the head of the queue.

However, the option cannot be used if you withhold your phone number, as the system will not be able to recognise a number to call you back on.

If the caller does not answer the call back, two more attempts will be made to connect the call.

Supt Patrick said: "We believe it is important to offer people different options for contacting the police. For some people, communicating with us online is the most efficient and effective option, whilst there are others who prefer to pick up the phone.

"The new call back system serves to improve the experience for those people who prefer to pick up the phone when contacting us.

"In an emergency, you should always pick up the phone and dial 999. You will be speaking with a police officer in a matter of seconds."