Working as a Police Control Room Operator (PCRO)

The Role of a Police Control Room Operator

Being a Police Control Room Operator is more than just answering calls – it’s about obtaining and providing accurate information to ensure the right decisions are made to help and keep people safe.

PCROs are predominantly the first point of contact for members of the public wishing to speak to the police.  

Covering the whole of Lancashire, PCROs will deal with all emergency (999) and non-emergency calls (101), identifying risk and grading the incident correctly.  

As part of your progression, you will also receive training to be a radio dispatcher and will be responsible for the deployment of police officers to incidents.

On a typical day, we receive on average 600 999 calls and 2214 non-emergency calls.

Each call is dealt with on its own merits according to the needs of the caller who may be vulnerable or a distressed victim in need of help or support.

Every day is different in the Force Control Room. In one instance, you may be dealing with a victim of a serious assault and the next, providing support to someone reporting one of their family members missing. 

As a PCRO you will be expected to work a 24/7 shift pattern inclusive of public holidays.  

PCROs receive an initial comprehensive training course followed by a further period of tutoring. There will be constant support and the opportunity to learn new skills allowing for continuous development.

Please email with all general recruitment queries.

We promote positive action, offering support and mentoring to all staff and potential applicants from under-represented groups: Black, Asian and ethnic minority candidates, people with a disability, LGBT and Eastern European candidates.

If you feel that you are eligible for this support, please email:

Please provide your full contact details, including an email address and phone number, the town where you live and the under represented group you identify with.

On receipt, we will contact you to offer support and guidance.

The recruitment process for applicants from these under represented groups is exactly the same as for any other candidate.

 Police Control Room

A day in the life of ...

After working for the Council for 10 years, I wanted a career which was a lot more fast paced and exciting.

Azhar - Police Control Room OperatorTherefore, after hearing from a good friend that Lancashire Police were recruiting for Police Control Room Operators, I knew it could provide me with the buzz I was looking for. After working for the police for nearly a year, it has certainly met my expectations of being fast paced and, most of all, exciting.

When I first started it was quite difficult getting a grasp of all the different type of calls that came through and knowing what to do with every unique enquiry. But with the help of my colleagues and Team Leaders, I was able to, within a short space of time, develop the confidence and knowledge to know how to deal with certain enquiries i.e. whether they required deployment or could be dealt with over the phone.

The best thing about working in the Control Room is being part of a team. Everyone is willing to help and support each other. There are a lot of fun personalities in the room which makes the job enjoyable.

In terms of progression and development, I have recently been receiving training on facilitating. This is when you assist the radio dispatchers with anything they need doing e.g. calling an ambulance, arranging recovery for a vehicle, notifying the undertakers of a sudden death. I am shortly going to be trained to be a radio dispatcher which I’m really looking forward to.

Azhar - Police Control Room Operator


I had no policing background and at the time and I didn’t know anyone who worked for the police.

Kat - Police Control Room OperatorI joined Lancashire Constabulary in July 2017 and have always worked in Retail Management however, decided it was time for a change. I wanted a career that felt worthwhile and was benefitting the community. I saw the Police Control Room Operator job advertised via Facebook and decided to give it a go and apply.

I travel a 70 mile round trip to work which seems a long way to drive however, due to working in a large team, car share with my colleagues therefore, it is never a lonely journey. 

I never expected the role of a Police Control Room Operator to be so varied. No two calls are ever the same. It can be very challenging and demanding at times however, is worthwhile especially when I know I have helped someone in need.  I was initially frightened knowing that I wouldn’t know the answers to some of the questions asked of me, however, there is so much support with people always willing to help and offer assistance.  

I love my new role and am looking forward to developing my skills as I receive training to be a radio dispatcher

Kat - Police Control Room Operator


Progressing within the team

Ange - Police Control Room SupervisorI have worked for Lancashire Constabulary for 15 years after joining as a Police Control Room Operator at Preston prior to progressing into the Team Leader role within the department.

I find the role challenging but enjoy working within a team.  No two days are the same and the role lends itself to various development opportunities.

I would encourage anyone to join us and become part of the team. 

Ange - Police Control Room Supervisor


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