A PLEA for people to sign up as emergency call handlers has gone out from police.

Thames Valley Police launched a new campaign yesterday to get more people into the role taking 999 and 101 calls.

The campaign, called Your First Call, hopes to show people the skills of existing police call handlers in different stages of the career.

Chief Superintendent Christian Bunt said: “A career as a Contact Management Centre Officer provides variety and challenge that really cannot be matched.

"We are looking for enthusiastic, resilient individuals able to use their own initiative to solve problems whilst displaying empathy and tact.

"It can be challenging and unpredictable at times, but with first class training and development opportunities, you will be performing a rewarding role that sits at the very heart of our service to the public."

The campaign comes as Thames Valley Police chief constable said just days ago that the 101 service in 'inefficient' with the number of calls 'exploding' in July.

He said previously: "It is not sustainable. There are forces that are putting significant additional numbers of people in their call centres. But those people come from somewhere and they come from the frontline."

The campaign will now look at getting more people in to the role and is hosting recruitment sessions on Monday, September 24, and Thursday, September 27, both at 6.30pm in Kidlington.

Details at thamesvalley.police.uk