Trainee Police Controller: Abingdon (999/101 Call Handler)

Contact Management
TVP Broad Band 2E
Band 2E circa £31,494.02 per annum, INCLUSIVE of 34% shift allowance, plus benefits.
Full Time

“Help me, please help me he is going to kill us. He has forced his way in and hit me and tried to take my baby. He is screaming and his eyes look wild, I think he has taken something. He went to the kitchen to get a knife – I ran upstairs and we are hiding in the bedroom. I can hear him coming up the stairs shouting, I’m scared, my son is crying, he is shouting that he hates us. I need help, please help me.”

This incident is then sent to you as a priority 1 – the highest priority. You as the Trainee Police Controller need to get Police Officers to help as soon as possible. There is nobody free – you have to make the quick decision to take officers away from another incident. The updates keep coming in – he now has a knife and has possibly taken something so he is now a bigger risk. Are your officers the right ones still? Do you need to send officers with Taser? Do you need to consider a dog unit? You are thinking about all of this whilst making sure you keep your officers safe by giving them important updates.   A further incident comes in; there has been a serious accident – you need to send officers to deal with this as well. You have other incidents that will need attention from a Police Officer but you have to prioritise. Being a Trainee Police Controller you need to be able to deal with multiple incidents at once and make good sound decisions surrounding Threat, Harm, Opportunity and Risk. You play a key part in keeping not only the public safe but also the Police Officers, PCSO’s and other resources.

Our teams are the first point of contact for over 1000 emergency and over 2200 non-emergency phone calls and over 100 interactions via our digital platforms every day. Initially you will be taking 999/101 calls, During your first year (subject to ability and availability of courses) a large part of your job will be to manage radio despatch, prioritising the deployment of resources to incidents in line with threat, risk, harm and vulnerability, ensuring that public and officer safety is maintained at all times. 

As a Police Controller, or Radio Operator, which is the common term used in the department, you will perform one of the most demanding roles in the modern police force and one which is key to inspiring satisfaction and confidence in the community, you must be able to work and make decisions under pressure, displaying high levels of emotional resilience to be able to deal with real time emergency situations. We ask our teams to assess priority and severity of incidents, whilst always doing their best to reassure the caller that we'll get them the appropriate support or assistance as quickly as possible. 

Key Responsibilities 

An average shift looks like this:

  • Handling emergency and non-emergency calls. You will have to be able to remain calm whilst taking control of a call and getting as much information as possible by asking the right questions and recording that information so it is relayed to the officers responding.
  • Crime Recording – using our systems to take reports of crime and making sure everything is recorded according to guidelines.
  • Working with partner agencies to record other incidents in which the Police play a role.
  • Signposting members of public to more appropriate agencies when it is not a matter dealt with by Police.
  • Dealing with requests/queries via online platforms
  • Making sure we deliver a good service by being available and dealing with sometimes constant calls to a professional standard.
  • Managing the despatch of resources and prioritising incidents in line with threat, risk, harm and vulnerability, ensuring that public and officer safety is maintained at all times.
  • Making sure Police Officers and other resources have all the necessary information to deal with the incidents they have been deployed too.
  • Represent the Police Control Room at various external events such as Reading, Oxford, MK Dons and Wycombe Football matches. Also to perform your controller duties around other large scale events such as Reading Festival, Ascot Race Course, Henley Royal Regatta and other ad hoc events. (subject to extra training, ability and willingness to travel). 

You do not need previous experience; instead we're looking for common sense, attention to detail, good communication skills, high levels of resilience and a calm head under pressure. Above all, you'll have the drive and determination to make a difference to the communities we serve. 

You will receive structured on and off the job training through our comprehensive apprenticeship programme:

On successful completion of the program you will be confirmed in post and receive a nationally recognised Level 3 Certificate in Emergency Service Contact Handling.

Shift Patterns 

We operate 24/7, 365 days of the year. An example of the shift pattern is attached for you – due to this it may be that public transport is not available or suitable, at the times needed.

As part of the Thames Valley Police family you will enjoy a fantastic range of benefits including 24 days annual leave per annum (plus Bank Holidays), flexible working conditions, performance related pay increases, a wide range of lifestyle discounts, career development opportunities and have the option to join a local government pension scheme. To view a full list of our benefits, please click the below link.

If you have any queries please contact the Recruitment Team at quoting reference 101. We will endeavour to respond to your query as quickly as possible.

Please note due to current organisational needs, we are unable to accept part time applicants at this time.

The first 5 weeks of training are likely to be in Kidlington so travel will be required at this time.

The closing date for enquiries and receipt of completed applications is Monday 31st October 2022 (subject to change). Please be aware that we will be advertising on a rolling recruitment basis and should you be successful you will be placed into a recruitment pool. Once vetting and medical clearances have been received you will be placed onto the next available intake.

Providing you are over the age of 18 we encourage applications from all age groups and demographics.

We believe in investing in all of our people, and run tailored Positive Action Initiatives to support our colleagues from underrepresented backgrounds in their personal and professional development, ensuring everyone has a level playing field to succeed, progress and feel fulfilled in their careers.

Thames Valley Police is a local organisation. Our legitimacy and connection to our communities benefits from a workforce employed mainly from the Thames Valley and surrounding areas. We value the unique and vital importance of face-to-face working, while acknowledging the benefits of appropriate remote working, to productivity, diversity, wellbeing and the environment. In every decision about working practices, public service and performance will always be the uppermost considerations.

To ensure fairness, the entitlement to remote working for our people will be agreed on a role-by-role basis. The feasibility of this may vary by function, team and department according to the nature of the work, the impact on public service and the relevant employment market. We value the diversity of our workforce and individual need will be appropriately considered.

We expect staff and officers in all roles to have some regular face-to-face contact with each other, including working from the workplace. Many operational roles will continue to require full-time working from our estate and in the field. There will remain an expectation for individuals to attend the workplace as required for their role and as determined by their line manager and the organisation.


Police Officers and Police Staff have access to a fantastic range of benefits, dependant on role, location and length of service. To view a full list of our benefits please click here


All posts require a level of Police Vetting as per the National Vetting Code of Practice. The residency requirement is necessary to enable all applicants to be checked in an equitable manner. Thames Valley Police will allow applicants to apply who do not necessarily reach the criteria as long as they have proven UK residency and supporting evidence where necessary. Applications will be considered on a case by case basis.

At Thames Valley Police, we are committed to better reflect the communities that we serve.  We encourage applications from our under represented communities including all ethnic or religious backgrounds, LGBTQ+, women and those with disabilities.  

Within our organisation we have a number of active staff support networks.  We are proud to be a ‘Disability Confident’ Level 3 ‘Employer’ that is supported by RAMP – our dedicated reasonable adjustments process.   For more information, please visit our ‘Supporting You’ page on our website,

We are also proud to have a Positive Action and Engagement team who can provide support and guidance to anyone from a Black, Asian & Minority Ethnic background throughout the Police Officer recruitment process as well as advise on career development and progression.  They can be contacted via:  

Click here to read more about our commitment to valuing difference.