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Humberside Police worst for answering 999 calls within 10 second target

Humberside Police is the worst force in the country for answering 999 calls within a 10-second target, Home Office figures have revealed.

Only 2% of emergency calls were responded to within the limit. The government had set a target of 90%.

The Humberside force said its results were down to delays with BT operators passing the calls to the control room.

However, in a statement, BT said it had worked with police and had “found no evidence of such a delay on BT’s part”.

Avon and Somerset was the only force in the UK to hit the target, answering 91% of emergency contacts within the time.

The South Yorkshire force was the second worst performer, with 17% of calls answered in under 10 seconds.

Overall, 71% of 999 calls were answered within the time period by forces across the UK.

Police response times to 999 calls

Humberside Police – 2% answered within 10 seconds target. Average time 16.8 seconds.

Lincolnshire Police – 89% answered within 10 seconds target. Average time six seconds.

North Yorkshire Police – 44% answered within 10 seconds target. Average time 29.3 seconds.

South Yorkshire Police – 17% answered within 10 seconds target. Average time 20.5 seconds.

West Yorkshire Police – 79% answered within 10 seconds target. Average time 11.3 seconds.

Source: Home Office

Home Secretary Priti Patel said the public deserved to know their local police force would be at the end of the phone.

“Fundamentally, publishing this data is about driving up standards in our incredible emergency services even further, so that the public can have every confidence in the police’s ability to save lives and keep our streets safe,” she added.

Humberside’s Deputy Chief Constable Paul Anderson said he welcomed “any data that enables the public to see how their local force is performing”.

“However, in this instance, the data presented does not accurately reflect the call handling performance of 999 calls once these are passed to Humberside Police,” he said.

“At present, despite representations, this data still includes the whole journey of a 999 call. This starts with a BT operator, and crucially, includes the time taken for them to divert the call to Humberside Police.

“The time this process takes varies significantly across the whole country, and in our region, there are delays of up to seven seconds for the call to be passed to Humberside Police and this delay is currently included in this data.”

Mr Anderson added that the force, which answered 95% of 999 calls between 10 and 60 seconds, had raised the issue with the Home Office and was working “with communications providers to understand why such delays sometimes occur”.

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