In case of emergency … cross your fingers

I see there’s another drama involving our not-always-efficient 111 emergency services phone system. 

This time, it’s come out that police 111 staff have been reprimanded for their failings: 

  • One Wellington staffer swore at and was rude to a caller (on their second warning);
  • A South Islander call-centre worker had a good old nosey through the National Intelligence Application, which lists criminal history (on their final warning);
  • Another Wellingtonian failed to send officers to respond to 19 “serious complaints” despite telling the callers police were on their way.

The first two cases are bad enough, although I can probably forgive the nosey parker more easily than the rude bugger because I guess it’s human nature to be nosey but not human nature to swear at people who are having a crisis but it’s almost unbelievable that this isn’t a first offence for either worker. 

However, not sending help while lying to the poor bugger on the other end of the phone is unforgivable. 

The news report on Stuff says police bosses are trying to sack the worker responsible for failing to log the 19 “serious complaints” but police communications centre acting national manager Superintendent Kelvin Powell reckons some of the calls  were simply to ask advice and others to report bad driving. 

I’m confused, were these “serious complaints” or not? 

Either way, it’s ridiculous that they are “trying” to sack a worker who surely has failed in the most basic execution of their duty: take a call and send help. I would have thought such a monumental cock up would mean it should be pretty easy to show them the door. 


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