Andrew Noble was a police constable who trained to be a dispatcher when the control room was short staffed
Why did you join the control room?
I am a Police Constable and In October 2016, I was a response officer working in the Bradford East area of Bradford when I was told one day by Email that I would be transferring to Bradford District control room as soon as possible as they were short and I was a trained dispatcher.
I hadn’t had much to do with the DCR throughout my years as a police officer. I didn’t really communicate with the people that worked there so if I was honest, I was a bit annoyed that I was been told to go there. I never saw myself as working in there, but now after 2 years, I love it. We have a great team and I have made lots of new friends who I can have a laugh with. I enjoy the job which is a constant challenge and love coming to work.
Tell us what is like working in an emergency control room?
I love it. After some on the job training, I was told by my supervisors Tanya and Sarah that I would be going onto the East area which is where I have spent the majority of my career. I know the area very well and knew some of the officers. It is an extremely busy area with many complex issues to deal with. We get a lot of high risk incidents in every day and my job involves getting to those incidents as quickly as possible with the limited number of police officers I have available. It is really hectic and sometimes I go home physically and mentally exhausted but proud that I have contributed to helping people and saving people’s lives.
Sometimes I go home physically and mentally exhausted but proud that I have contributed to helping people and saving people’s lives
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
Identifying from a number of incidents, the high risk incidents and then asking dedicated officers to attend those high risk incidents quickly and help victims who are in the worst of circumstances and need help from us. I came into policing to help people and I have seen many times how my actions have meant that a missing person has been found before serious harm has come to them or a victim of a domestic has been helped and further incidents prevented or a suspect has been caught before managing to force somebody to marry them or a vulnerable elderly person has been safeguarded preventing another person taking their money from them.
What makes your job challenging and how do you overcome this?
It is challenging as there are many competing demands and a lot of those demands are outside my control. I overcome those demands by utilising the officers that I have to the incidents that need them the most. I class the control room and my response officers as one big team trying our best to do the best we can and the team know that I will help them when I can. I also have to make sure that the officers that I send to incidents do not get burnt out by the sheer number of incidents that I ask them to deal with and that has to be balanced with what the public needs.
What does International Control Room Week mean to you and the team?
It will be good to celebrate what happens in control rooms around the world as there are many people who work in them who deserve a thank you and a pat on the back. There are occasions when my colleagues, friends and I have all thought about throwing the towel in because of work or home pressures and it is nice when we can celebrate what we do and see others outside the control room environment celebrate our achievements.