Fast response to 000 calls


Sir – I am pleased to report dramatic improvement in the time it takes for police to answer calls to both triple-zero and the police assistance line in Central Australia over recent months.
Last year, I raised some concerns about the levels of service being provided and asked the Police Commissioner to embark on a new project called Polaris to make changes at the call centre and achieve better results for the public.
A trial of civilian operators was also launched in August with 38 administrative officers now taking calls. 11 more operators will begin their training this week. A new roster was introduced to get more staff working at times of peak demand and a superintendent now supervises every shift.
Police are now surpassing their targets. For triple-zero, the target is to answer 90% of calls within 10 seconds.
In June last year, only 60% of calls were answered within that time frame and the average answer time was 26 seconds. This month, 96% were answered within the time frame and the average answer time was down to just four seconds. It’s an impressive turn-around. Police and call centre staff deserve a pat on the back for driving this change.
It’s a similar story for the police assistance line where the goal is to answer 80% of calls within 20 seconds. In June last year, only 54% of calls were being answered in that time frame. This month, 85% were being answered within the target time frame and the average wait time was just 11 seconds.
The latest crime statistics for Alice Springs show that total property offences are down 31% to the lowest number for a calendar year since 2006.
Commercial break-ins dropped 38%, car theft and related offences are down 41% and house break-ins plummeted 36%.
Adam Giles
Chief Minister


  1. Its great that phone calls are being answered quicker. Now just get the police to turn up to an incident within an hour of the phone call, which some people would say is a little more important than this, and then you can really pat yourself on the back.

  2. Finally. How many years have we been complaining?
    In the beginning, in 2004 I believe it was, there were only three lines available for Alice springs 000.
    Then the police number in Alice Springs was answered by police in the entire Territory or SA or WA. Very heavily denied by all senior police officers and ministers including the chief minister Clare Martin.
    We here in Alice have been voicing our concern over this issue with 000 for a very time. Thank you Adam for listening. Can you also please remove the propaganda from the 131 police number.
    We all know police are there to serve and protect. Just a please hold message will be fine. I found it infuriating listening to that.

  3. What garbage Adam. Forgotten your repeated promises in the media and in person? You were going to have calls moved back to Alice, not Darwin. Funny how all your big talk, including the way you write your letter here, has changed since you took over.
    Until I see businesses re opening here, machinery building and making way for houses and planes coming in more frequently, you’re just the same as Hendo – quoting figures and percentages thinking that makes it all good.
    Alice is not better, things are not “happening” and until you realise this, you will continue to face the same fate here as your new found friend Conlan.


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