Meet call dispatchers Ollie Forsse and Jodie Gibson from Avon and Somerset police

PUBLISHED: 10:49 30 October 2017 | UPDATED: 10:49 30 October 2017

North Somerset call dispatchers Jodie Gibson and Ollie Forse. Picture: Eleanor Young

North Somerset call dispatchers Jodie Gibson and Ollie Forse. Picture: Eleanor Young


After the police has received your call, it is then sent across to call dispatchers to get a police officer out to you.

I sat down with North Somerset dispatchers Ollie Forse, aged 19, and Jodie Gibson, aged 26, to see what was happening in our area.

During my visit, both Jodie and Ollie were inundated with cases, with only 10 police units working their way through 52 open cases.

Jodie said: “It is always on the go. Today we have a couple of burglaries and some missing people. You can also have a back log from previous days.

“It sounds easy but you have jobs coming in quicker than you can allocate them. When you think you have cleared one you have another two appear.

“Some jobs take longer than others. They have to log evidence and file details on systems as well as carry out interviews at scenes.”

Ollie said he sometimes wants to ‘rip his hair out’ in frustration.

He added: “You want to help but feel powerless when you cannot.”

What was the worst incident you can remember?

Jodie said: “A case which sticks in my mind was a really bad drink-driver accident last year in Nailsea. The driver had crashed into a group of people and ‘skittled’ them.

“There were several casualties who needed CPR and the officers told us it was like a scene from a film when they arrived.

“My colleague at the time was a first responder for ambulance and had a defibrillator in his car. The ambulance was still 15 minutes away so he left here to go and help.

“But it left me on my own controlling the whole of North Somerset as well as that job – it was a horrendous shift.”

Ollie said his heart ‘would stop’ every time an officer used their emergency button on their radio.

He added: “When they hit it they need urgent assistance and it will come through on our system and it will allow the officer to transmit on hands-free.

“We went to a domestic in Weston and there were no other officers available, so we had to call in a dog unit from Bridgwater.

“He had gone into the house and found a female covered in blood. He went into the kitchen and the man attacked him. The other crews broke from what they were doing and rushed to help.

“But we had to listen for 10 minutes to intermittent transmissions and you can’t do anything. You are just trying to help as best you can but you feel useless.”

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