Police take longer to respond to calls

PUBLISHED: 16:57 12 August 2014 | UPDATED: 16:57 12 August 2014

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WORKFORCE reductions and other changes to save money have meant police are taking longer to respond to emergency calls.

The change in the number of emergency calls with a 15 minute target and priority calls with a 60 minute target

Percentage of emergency calls reached on time by Avon and Somerset Constabulary.

Type of call 2010-11 2013-14

Urban emergency calls on target (15 mins) 93 87.7

Rural emergency calls on target (15 mins) 88 83.3

Priority calls on target (60 mins) 77 68.7

This was the finding of Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC), which reported on forces all over the country.

Its report showed Avon and Somerset Constabulary has set itself the same target response times since 2010, but the number of emergencies reached in those times has fallen – some by almost 10 per cent.

The proportion of emergency calls reached within the target of 15 minutes has declined in urban areas from 93 per cent in 2010-11 financial year to 87.7 per cent in 2013-14.

In rural areas, there has also been a drop from 88 per cent to 83.3 per cent.

Slightly lower ‘grade two’ calls, which have a 60-minute response time target, have seen a nine per cent drop in the number reached within the ideal timeframe.

Chief Inspector Alex Cohen, area commander for North Somerset, said: “The report shows that the slightly lower grade two, or priority calls, have seen a nine per cent reduction in being answered within our target time

“But we remain absolutely committed to responding quickly to those who most need our help and are allocating our resources to the grade one, higher priority calls.

“We feel that this would be in line with what the public would expect. Residents should be reassured that our commitment to fighting crime and keeping people safe is absolute, despite the financial challenges we face.

“We are also investing in mobile IT equipment that will enable officers to complete various tasks out in the community, rather than having to return to their base.”

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