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Single Non-Emergency Number (SNEN) project expands

Single Non-Emergency Number (SNEN) project expands

The Single Non-Emergency Number (SNEN) demonstration project will extend into the Counties Manukau police district in December in time for the increased number of calls made to police during summer, says Police Minister Annette King.

Ms King says the SNEN project has been running successfully in the Auckland City and Bay of Plenty police districts since November 2006. "In that time, Police have put a lot of effort into developing, trialling and refining the systems and processes needed to set up a national single non-emergency number."

People in Auckland City and Bay of Plenty calling local police to report non-urgent crime and incidents are transferred to the Northern Police Communications Centre where specially-trained staff take details and arrange for the appropriate response over the phone. The service is now handling around 2500 calls a week.

"The expansion into Counties Manukau is significant as it will bring another large metro area into the demonstration project," Ms King says. A further 30 staff will be employed, taking the total number contributing to the 24/7 service to 72.

"A national non-emergency call handling service will benefit New Zealanders by taking the load off the 111 emergency number. It will help to make police easy to contact and deal with on non-urgent matters, but we need to make sure we get it right. When the time comes to introduce a national single non-emergency number, it will be simple, memorable and without charge to the public."

On 8 May, at a ceremony to mark 50 years of the 111 system, Ms King paid tribute to the thousands of people who have been involved in the 11 1 service. "Answering and responding to 111 calls has always been a tough and often hazardous job, and there was never a better illustration of that than April's tragic coolstore fire in Waikato.

"I also want to pay tribute to the call-takers themselves. I have sat and watched them at work, and marvelled at their composure and professionalism, and their ability to keep so many balls in the air at the same time. Last week a staggering 12,909 111 calls were received. And 97 percent of those calls were answered within 10 seconds. I am sure that the same level of professionalism will be seen in the rollout of the SNEN."


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