Call Targets Not Being Hit Due To Lack Of Resource

NEW figures suggest that police forces in England are taking on average five and a half hours to respond to priority calls.

Most police forces aim to respond to priority calls – incidents where there is a degree of urgency but no immediate risk to life – in one hour, but a Freedom of Information (FOI) request from the Liberal Democrats showed that the average over the 19 forces that responded was five and a half hours.

The Chair of Hampshire Police Federation, Zoë Wakefield, said that Hampshire Constabulary was failing to meet targets for non-emergency calls, although she did not have the figures for priority calls.

She said: “We are definitely failing to meet our targets for non-emergency calls, and I think there are lots of reasons for that.

“Partly it’s because we have lots of inexperienced officers, so it takes much longer to deal with a job than it does if you’ve got experienced officers, who’ve dealt with that kind of job a million times before.

“There’s also so much bureaucracy and so much paperwork that it’s ridiculous. All of that takes officers a lot longer because they’re still new to it.

“Obviously, when the new recruits start they all get posted to our response team, so they’re the ones who are going to all these jobs. We just don’t have the numbers. We haven’t yet got back to the numbers that we were at before, so it makes sense that we haven’t got the resources to go to all of these calls.”

She added: “I can’t see it massively improving in the short term.”

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