North Yorkshire Police is missing its 999 call answer targets by a long margin, new figures reveal.
National statistics released for the first time by the Home Office show that the force answers less than half of the emergency calls within ten seconds.
North Yorkshire Police answers 44% of 999 calls in that time frame.
North Yorkshire also has the worst median time for picking up calls, at 14.7 seconds.
North Yorkshire Police is one of only five forces to miss the target in more than half its calls. The others are:
- Humberside – 2%
- South Yorkshire Police – 17%
- Durham Police – 41%,
- and Gloucestershire – 49%.
Only one police force in the UK – Avon and Somerset – is meeting a target to answer 90% of 999 calls in under 10 seconds, the new data has shown.
Forty-three police forces failed to meet it over the six months from November 2021 and April 2022.
Overall, 71% of 999 calls were answered within 10 seconds.
Home Secretary Priti Patel said “the public deserve to know that their local police force will be at the end of the phone, ready to leap into action at seconds’ notice to protect them from harm”.
“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.
The Association for Police and Crime Commissioners local policing leads Alison Hernandez and Jeff Cuthbert said the data showed “the demand for policing and the volume of calls” across the country.
North Yorkshire Police is aware it has a challenge answering calls.
At a Police Fire and Crime Commissioner meeting in January, Jason Dickson – Superintendent Customer Contact – admitted the force was struggling to meet its targets for answering 999 and 101 calls.
He said 92 extra staff have joined the Force Control Room in York in the last two years.
New intakes of trainees were due in March and then again in the summer and at the end of the year.
And North Yorkshire Police has seen big increases in 999 calls. On a Saturday last July it received the greatest number of 999 calls ever in a single day.