Following on from our report in July 2015 which revealed that a British police constabulary had ignored 600 victims of crime last year, new figures have come to light that dwarfs that figure.
According to statistics, 47,516 calls to 101 – which is a non emergency number, were ignored between 2010 and 2014 by Herts police.
The number came to light via a the Freedom of Information act request by the Mercury newspaper. The FOI also revealed that in 2012 a person was left waiting on the phone for 44 minutes before someone answered.
MP for North East Hertfordshire, Sir Oliver Heald, said:
“I am shocked that so many calls have gone unanswered.
“I will go to the chief constable and ask him about this and see what can be done to help the situation. Obviously emergency calls should be made to 999 but these 101 calls should also be answered.”
Since 101 started in April 2012, Hertfordshire Constabulary have encouraged people to use this number for non-emergencies and to report crimes. People generally call 101 if they want to report their stolen car, damage to their property, or want to report someone in the neighbourhood that they feel is using or selling drugs.
Since 2012 there have been over 9,000 emergency calls or 1.9 percent of calls to police that were not answered .
In 2011, 4.245 calls were unanswered and this accounted for 0.9 percent of all calls and by 2012 there were 9,899 unanswered calls bringing the total to 2.1 percent.
People living in this area made 14,693 unsuccessful calls to the police in 2013. This brings the total up to 3.1percent of all calls.
In 2014 there were 9,587 calls made and is 2.1 percent of calls for that year.
The county’s goal is to answer 80 percent of the calls within a 30 second time period. The average time it took for the county to answer the calls was 17.6 second between 2010 and 2014.
A spokeswoman for Herts police said:
“Hertfordshire Constabulary strives to provide an exceptional service to the people of Hertfordshire.
“We receive hundreds of thousands of calls into the Force Control Room every year.
“This FOI request refers to non-emergency calls not 999 immediate response calls which meet national targets.
“Our abandon rates for 101, the non-emergency number, rates when compared to industry standards, are very good.
“We are constantly monitoring this data and have complex planning software to assist us to put resources into place to meet our ‘ordinary’ demand.
“We also incorporate a one-stop shop approach so callers to Hertfordshire are dealt with efficiently and effectively .
“Only two per cent of these non-emergency calls were abandoned. It is difficult to comment on figures when discussing abandoned calls as we receive spikes in calls in relation to non-predictable incidents like traffic collisions where we will receive a high volume of calls.”