I've been calling a number of caregivers and complainants because complaints have been coming in. What is unusual though is how many TC officers do not want to contact the caregivers in their area - one officer spent almost a week writing to me and for some reason just refusing to email the caregiver. I was glad that he finally did so today. While I know one or two caregivers can be quite abrasive, I think the main issue here is that quite a few officers don't feel like they want to work on a TNRM programme.
The main thing is that I don't think there is any correlation to say solving the problem permanently or incentive to say save money for the TC by finding alternate ways instead of calling the pest control. So the easiest method is to just ring the pest control. Calling caregivers is seen as a hassle because the caregivers will need to go down and investigate - whereas calling the pest control in means the case is closed. If the complainant calls, they can tell the complainant 'action' has been taken - even if that 'action' hasn't solved the problem.
Working with caregivers means keeping it within the community - AND it means making it a cheaper proposition for the TCs. I have heard time and time again that pest control is a package deal and hence it doesn't make things more expensive to call in pest control to trap the cats, but it's pure economics. Let's put it this way - pest control aren't doing this because they love the job. They do it because it makes them money, so you can bet the trapping of cats was factored into the cost - otherwise why are they doing it? So obviously, if the TC is able to handle cat complaints without calling in pest control, they WOULD be able to negotiate a better/cheaper rate and save money for the TC, and ultimately for you, the resident and taxpayer.