Police offer reassurance over waiting times for 101 calls

Police chiefs offered reassurances to residents over its 101 service after stating the average wait time for callers is under two and a half minutes.

Friday, 29th November 2019, 11:46 am
Updated Friday, 29th November 2019, 12:25 pm
Picture c/o Pixabay
Picture c/o Pixabay

It came as police gave an update on issues in the area to Hartlepool Borough Council North and Coastal Community Forum.

In past meetings police had faced criticism for the amount of time it takes to get a response from the 101 service.

However Chief Inspector Nigel Burnell, from Cleveland Police, said following investment in the service the average time is just under two and a half minutes.

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He said: “I know that there is a concern around 101 numbers, so we’ve done some research on that and the average time it takes us to answer the 101 is under two and a half minutes.

“It averages out at about 2.3 minutes, for the previous period three months ago it was only two minutes.

“I hear there are lots of concerns about it taking 20 minutes to answer or half an hour, and I’m sure those stories are out there and I’m sure some people won’t get the service most people get.

“What I want to get across is that I think that’s an exception, and the average suggests it’s a lot lower than that.

“The average as I say is about two/two and half minutes. Obviously we have invested resources at Cleveland Police in that service.”

Coun Sue Little raised concerns two and a half minutes could still be a long time if someone has dialled the 101 number in need of assistance and is unsure whether to ring 999.

Chief Inspector Burnell stressed the 101 number is for non-emergencies and if anyone witnesses an emergency they should call 999, meaning the average 101 time is ‘reasonable’.

He also urged residents to keep reporting incidents and any intelligence to allow them to tackle as many crimes and issues as possible.

He said: “The more information that we get the more we can do, and I hope in the community and different wards we are seeing some of that.

“We’re running at capacity but we are always trying to do more.”