Victim Waits 9 Days for Police Response

Police forces are blaming funding and staffing issues due to budget cuts for their failure to hit their targets.

The victim of a violent assault waited almost nine days for police to respond to a 999 call, whilst a burglary victim had to wait nearly five days for a response to their emergency calls.

These were just two of the worst examples of poor police responses from new statistics disclosed under the Freedom of Information Act.

The alarming new figures show police are failing to respond to more than 3,000 calls a day within their target times, which are typically 15 minutes for an ’emergency’ call and one hour for a ‘priority’ call.

In 2017, it was reported that officers took more than an hour to respond to more than 1 million crimes that required a priority response – a breach of the target. It was the equivalent of one in four of all offences in this category.

The report states that over the past five years the average emergency response time has increased from 10 to 15 minutes. Even more concerning is the average priority response has increased dramatically from just over one hour to almost three hours.

The longest response time in the most serious group of incidents – listed as ‘immediate’ – was said to be 11 days for a crime in 2017. That year there were 77 ‘immediate’ incidents where the police took more than 24 hours to respond – an increase from 27 in 2015.

Police forces claim they are underfunded and understaffed due to budget cuts. But the statistics have been revealed as murder and manslaughter cases have reached their highest level for more than a decade.

The Office of National Statistics recently reported violent crime had soared 19 per cent to 1.5 million offences in the year to September. There was a 14 per cent rise in homicides and 8 per cent increase in knife crime.