Police 101 Callers Hang up
Hundreds of callers a month to Devon and Cornwall Police hang up before their calls are answered, sometimes after long waits. Police failed to answer more than a million calls to their non-emergency 101 phone lines in the last year – while some callers waited more than an hour to speak to someone. Shocking statistics which emerged today show how 1,085,829 calls were abandoned or dropped by the service
over the last year, an increase of more than 25 per cent on the year before.
The figures show that more than a third of people calling the lines in some areas either hung up or were cut off before they managed to speak to anyone. As a result Dartmouth crime figures appearing on the Police UK website or handed out by our police inspector at town council meetings, are worthless.
The 101 number was introduced across Britain in 2011 and 2012 to replace individual police station numbers and cut the number of time-consuming 999 calls. But the new figures show that, despite the number of calls to the line falling by more than 100,000 over the last year, the percentage of calls answered is falling. One person calling the line waited an hour and 18 minutes for an answer, and a
Freedom of Information request shows that more than a third of those calling the police 101 line were cut off or hung up before their call was answered. Nearly half of forces failed to meet internal targets of answering calls and many of the forces answer calls within the target times but then put the callers on hold for long periods.
John O’Connell, director of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: ‘It was claimed the 101 line would save money and reduce pressure on the emergency services, but the service is simply not performing and the promised benefits won’t appear as a result. ‘Each call centre costs money, and right now taxpayers aren’t seeing value for money. We need to improve 101 service significantly by finding inefficiencies in the system, or look at whether it is worth continuing.’
Is it little wonder that 24 of the Police Commissioners who were elected to monitor their Chief Constables are themselves under investigation by the Independent Police