Camden Council has disabled its Community Safety email inbox mere weeks after putting up posters at Crabtree Fields open space directing the public to use the email address. It now asks its “customers” to use a “more reliable” system… which crashed on Friday morning.
In an email on 22 September to some residents and community groups Camden Parks wrote to say that they had received “an update” from their colleagues in Community Safety giving them four days’ notice of a change to the communication system.
“Community Safety is the latest service to be adapting to Contact Camden becoming our main access point for residents to engage better with the service,” wrote the Parks Team.
“In order to streamline this process and ensure a better way of communication, Community Safety will be disabling the mailbox (firstname.lastname@example.org) and the 2915 telephone extension from 26 September 2023 through a managed process.
“This change brings significant benefits to residents. By utilising a more reliable (sic) communication system, we aim to strengthen trust in both the service and the organisation as a whole. We want to assure you that throughout this process, our primary focus has been on improving customer satisfaction and overall experience.
“All calls to 2915 ext will be redirected to the general contact centre (0207 974 4444 – wait till it tells you to hold then it will take you to a submenu option 6) and reports or queries can be made to community safety via our e-form on the website https://www.camden.gov.uk/community-safety1.”
On Friday morning, 29 September — and only three days after the email inbox was disabled — Camden’s “more reliable” communication system went tits up.
“We are currently experiencing network issues which are affecting our customer services, phone lines and access to the Camden Account. Please bear with us while we work to fix this,” stated a message on social media at 9.50am.
Access to the council’s planning applications register, public licensing register, and its entire camden.gov.uk/democracy section of its website was also unavailable.
At 12.55pm a member of staff was scrambled to find a working computer to issue another update: “Unfortunately we are still experiencing network issues. While we work to fix this, please only call our customer service in the event of an immediate emergency.”
Six hours later they reported that some semblance of a normal service had returned.
“Thank you for your patience, our systems have now been recovered following an outage earlier today, however, we are still experiencing some disruption with online housing repairs reporting. We apologise for any inconvenience caused while we work to fix this.”