Police 999 response times go up in Hertfordshire

PUBLISHED: 08:12 20 April 2015 | UPDATED: 08:12 20 April 2015

999 response times have gone up, research has shown

999 response times have gone up, research has shown

Archant

Police response times for serious crimes and other emergencies have soared in Hertfordshire over the last four years, new research reveals.

In 2011, police took on average seven minutes to arrive at the scene for the most urgent night-time 999 calls, but by last year they were taking took two minutes longer.

Although the nine-minute response time is close to the national average, the 29 per cent rise is worse than all but five other forces covered by the Labour Party, which used the Freedom of Information Act to probe the impact of police cuts.

Vojislav Mihailovic, general secretary of Hertfordshire Police Federation, said: “When resources are diminishing but demand continues to grow, then inevitably something begins to creak.

“Demand is not just about the number of emergency calls and our response to them, it is about the complexity of what lies behind that call.

“One call can tie a couple of officers up for the rest of their shift leaving their colleagues spread even more thinly.”

A Hertfordshire police spokeswoman responded: “The force continues to respond effectively to increasingly more complex and involved calls for assistance, and has 
adapted our processes to meet these challenging demands.

“Whilst response times have fallen over the past three years, police officers are still attending the vast majority of calls within the 15-minute target time.

“Control room staff can quickly identify and prioritise those emergency calls where life is at risk or where a crime is in progress.”

Anawar Miah, Labour Parliamentary candidate for Welwyn Hatfield, said: “This inefficiency is another example of the chaos caused by the Tories to our public services.”

Conservative candidate Grant Shapps did not respond to the WHT’s invitation to comment on the Labour research.

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