The Office of the Police & Crime Commissioner have just released the below statement.
One of the most important priorities for your Police and Crime Commissioner Keith Hunter is to ensure Humberside Police are providing you with an efficient call handling service. When you need to contact the police, in the vast majority of cases it will be by telephone, so it’s important to be reassured that the police will answer your call promptly and deal with you professionally.
There are two ways to contact the police by phone, and we’ll look at each one in turn to see how Humberside Police are performing.
999 – In an emergency, where a crime is in progress or you, or someone else is in danger, you should always dial 999. For non-emergency matters you should dial 101. 999 calls requiring a blue-light response always take priority over other calls, so effectively they go to the front of the queue. In July 2019 alone, Humberside Police received over 15,200 emergency 999 calls and throughout the last year that demand has only once dropped below 10,000 per month. The Force’s aim is to answer 999 calls within 10 seconds, and over the last 12 months has usually performed well, with 86% of calls regularly answered within that time and an average answer time of 13 seconds.Some calls received are not genuine emergencies and work is ongoing to educate the public when it is not appropriate to call 999. It is hoped this will improve things further, leading to even faster response times for callers who need a genuine emergency response. Some recent examples of inappropriate 999 calls can be found HERE.
Humberside Police will always protect the emergency 999 line and therefore at times of high emergency demand they utilise the staff from the 101 non-emergency line to answer 999 calls. If your call is not an emergency you should not use the 999 line and you can also access Humberside Police’s website www.humberside.police.uk and report non-emergencies online and access a wealth of information which may be useful to you.
101 – The vast majority of calls Humberside Police receive are not emergencies needing an immediate police response, and these are handled by the 101 number. In recent times the 101 number came in for a good deal of criticism with some callers experiencing unacceptable delays in getting their calls answered. To address these problems Humberside Police underwent a major review of their call centre, known as the Force Control Room (FCR), and have recruited and trained more staff to answer calls. The Commissioner Keith Hunter holds regular governance meetings with the Chief Constable and is assured that performance has improved considerably from where it was in recent years. Performance has improved to such an extent that other police forces have visited Humberside Police to see how their example could benefit their own Force, and Humberside’s FCR is now recognised as one of the best in the country. Keith Hunter will continue to monitor this situation with the Force to ensure performance continues to improve.
When calling 101, the Humberside Police switchboard answer all calls in the first instance and assess the best route to direct the enquiry. Some calls are not police business and callers are directed to the appropriate agency to call, for example the local Council. 101 calls are further split between ‘crime’ calls and ‘incident’ calls, crime calls are where members of the public are reporting crimes after they have occurred and an emergency response on blue lights is not required, for example a burglary where the perpetrator has left the scene. The other type of 101 calls are incident calls which are not crime-related and can range from road traffic problems to neighbourhood disputes, missing persons and a variety of other matters. In the 12 months to July 2019 the average answer time for all 101 calls was 1 minute 26 seconds. We’ll continue to monitor this closely and report here on how things are progressing.