Police seek opinions on contact centres

The site of the car crash on the M9
The site of the car crash on the M9

Members of the public are urged to share their experiences of dealing with Police Scotland’s contact and command facilities, including call centres.

An online questionnaire has been launched by HM Inspectorate of Constabulary in the wake of the M9 crash scandal that saw two road accident victims left unattended for three days despite the incident being reported by a member of a public.

Inspectors will also visit all police call centres in the coming weeks to speak with staff directly.

The information gathered will be used in a review of the police contact systems launched by justice secretary Michael Matheson earlier this month.

An interim report is due to be delivered to the Scottish Government by the end of August.

It will be led by former Central Scotland Police chief constable Derek Penman.

“We are keen to understand the quality of call handling being provided across Scotland and want people to share their experiences over the last two years with us,” he said.

“When they have called the police on 101 or 999, when things have worked well and when, perhaps, they have not.

“We are also keen to hear from officers and staff who currently or have recently worked within police contact, command and control facilities. People will be able to submit their comments until midnight on Sunday, August 23.”

The survey is confidential and all those taking part will remain anonymous.

The questionnaire is online at https://response.questback.com/scottishgovernment/HMICScall_handling_questionnaire

The funerals of the M9 crash victims John Yuill and Lamara Bell took place yesterday and today (Friday).

Yuill’s service took place at St Francis Xaviers church in Falkirk town centre.

Bell is due to be buried in Camelon Cemetery today following a service in nearby Falkirk crematorium.

John (28) is believed to have died on impact when the Renault Clio left the road near Stirling services on July 5, while Lamara (25) was critically injured.

The mother of two died in hospital in Glasgow seven days later.

Despite receiving a call on its non-emergency 101 number that morning from a passing motorist who reported a car off the road, it was not until July 8 - and in response to a call from local farmer Robert Finlay that there was a car in his field - that officers were sent to investigate.