Beds Police falls short of 999 response time target - but answers more than 70% within 10 seconds

On average police forces across the UK receive a 999 call every 3 seconds

By Olga Norford
Wednesday, 1st June 2022, 2:49 pm
Updated Wednesday, 1st June 2022, 3:21 pm

A Home Office report, giving the time it takes each police force in the UK to answer emergency 999 calls has been published for the first time, in a bid to improve the speed of the service provided to the public.

The data covers calls made between 1 November 2021 to 30 April 2022 and shows some forces are consistently responsive, while others require improvement.

Forces in England, Wales and Northern Ireland aim to answer 90% of 999 calls within ten seconds.

New league tables show how quickly police forces answer 999 calls

Beds Police answered 71.4% (6745) calls in under 10 seconds; 21.1% of calls between 10 to under 60 seconds (against 7.6% for the best performing force), and 7.5% of calls over 60 seconds, compared to 1% for the best performing force.

A spokesman for Beds Police said: “Answering emergency calls in a timely manner is a priority for Bedfordshire Police, which is why we are currently increasing the resources within our Force Control Room, undertaking a restructure and investing in new technology.

“While we answer the vast majority of 999 calls in under 10 seconds and more than half in under four, delays can sometimes occur when multiple calls are reported concurrently – for example, following a road traffic collision.

"However, we triage every call to assess the level of threat, risk and harm it poses, and we have recently brought in an additional tiered grading structure to ensure we properly prioritise incidents which has seen our response times improve.

“We would remind people to only dial 999 in an emergency and otherwise contact us by Webchat or 101.”

The report states that publishing the 999 league tables will reconnect the police with the public, holding individual forces to account and helping identify previously unknown issues, with the goal of driving up performance.

APCC Local Policing Leads, Alison Hernandez and Jeff Cuthbert, said: “The public quite rightly expect the police to respond to 999 calls in good time, so Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) will be using this data to get a grip on performance across our local forces, hold our chief constables to account and ensure members of the public are receiving an efficient and effective response when they report to 999.”