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The police’s response to 999 and 101 calls is under scrutiny from the Police and Crime Commissioner, as he calls to ensure the public always receive an efficient and effective service.

Emergency demand increased 13% in the most recent quarter*, peaking at around 16,000 calls in July, with additional pressures including power outages and misdirected calls putting extra demand on staff.

In a formal holding to account meeting with the Chief Constable tomorrow, the Commissioner will focus on the service, ensuring calls are always being answered in a timely manner.

88% of emergency 999 calls are answered within 10 seconds, however there are still further improvements to be made**. There is also a drive to decrease wait times for the non-emergency 101 service, and ensure the force can be accessible in other ways such as online or social media reporting***.

Commissioner John Campion said “First and foremost I’d like to commend the control room staff for their hard and diligent work when faced with a number of challenges. They are the first point of call for people in desperate need, day after day.

I am pleased to see that West Mercia are working to improve their long term resilience, including looking to over-recruit staff,  but there is still a long way to go to ensure they are always doing the very best for the public. Emergency calls will always be the priority, but it’s also important that people can access the police in non-emergency situations. I welcome the introduction of a Digital Desk, which shows how the force is adapting and giving the people alternative options to engage in a way which is convenient for them.

As Commissioner I will continue to be the voice of communities, and work with the force to ensure the public always get the right help at the right time.”

*Figures cover July- September 2021, and are compared the same quarter the previous year.

** In September 2021, 88% of emergency 999 calls were answered within 10 seconds, below the target of 90%.

   In September 2021, 34% of non-emergency 101 calls were answered within 30 seconds, below the target of 80%.

These performance figures are affected by ICT and power failures which left core systems inoperable.

***  Since go live on 21st September the digital desk have dealt with 7190 engagements, equating to 312 engagement every day