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Working for us - Control Room - Sammia

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Switchboard Operator - Sammia

What are your main Responsibility in the role: 

I receive all 101 calls externally as well as internally; we sometimes get 999 calls if there is an overflow.

When did you join Nottinghamshire Police:

I joined in 2007, as a Telephone Interviewer, for Corporate Development, before starting as a Switchboard Operator in 2016

As a telephone interviewer we measured satisfaction on several aspects of service delivery, from the point the victim contacted the police, the actions the officers took, how they were kept informed about their case, how they were treated throughout the service and finally how they felt about the overall service. We covered all crimes, such as, Burglary, Theft of and Theft from Vehicle, Racist, RTC, and Violence.  In 2013 we started to interview victims of Domestic Abuse, which the home office made mandatory in 2016.

Why did you join Nottinghamshire Police: 

I qualified in BA Hons Criminology with psychology, I absolutely loved my course, and since then I developed an interest to work for the police.

What did you do beforehand? 

After I completed my degree, I applied for various jobs within the police force, but in the meantime I was working as a radio presenter for a local radio station, I did interpreting for a company which required me to attend courts and prisons, (another reason why I wanted to work for public services) as well as this I worked in retail part time.

Have you had to face any challenging/new experiences? 

With my job I face new challenges every day, as we don’t know what the next call would be about. For instances, I could receive a call about a general enquiry, which can be pretty straight forward, to a person telling me they are feeling suicidal.

In a situation like this I have to remain calm, and professional, I continue to talk to the person so they are reassured we are here to help, whilst putting them through to the relevant contact.

What’s been your proudest moment? 

When I was a Telephone Interviewer I spoke to a woman who was a victim of domestic abuse, whilst interviewing her, she completely broke down and started to cry, I politely asked her if she was okay and if she would like me to terminate the call?

She wanted to continue eventually, I took my time in asking her questions, so she had time to bring herself together. Once I came off the phone, I needed 5 minutes myself, before moving onto the next victim of crime. I felt very proud in how I handled the situation and remained professional as well as sympathetic throughout the interview.

Any proud moments in your current role as a Switchboard Operator?

We have a repetitive caller, who is elderly with dementia. She usually calls around 5 times per day. I usually speak to her at least once during my shift. She is lonely and vulnerable, just likes to have someone to talk to. Bearing in mind the nature of my work I have to keep our conversation to a minimum. During the conversation, I pacify her, and reassure her, which is relatively comforting for her; she can come off the phone knowing her experience calling Nottinghamshire police was positive.

What does a typical day at work look like for you? 

As I work part-time but five days a week, my typical day is getting to work, whilst talking to my colleagues about what the day has been like so far, I log onto my system, get my headsets on, and then I’m good to go!

What’s the best part of your role? 

It would be the reassurance that I am part of a service, that is here to protect the public, and I am able to assist with making a difference. What would you say to anyone looking to follow in your footsteps?

Most definitely apply for any opportunity that is available, even if you think it’s not something you want to do long term, but remember it’s a foot in the door.

Once you’re here so many opportunities will arise.  There is always a chance to progress, whilst working here.