Devon and Cornwall police callers unable to get assistance
A recent research has revealed that thousands of people calling the 101 police service in Devon and Cornwall are having to wait longer than 20 minutes to talk to an officer, making them hang up before they make their report or ask their query.
Tony Hogg, police and crime commissioner said that he has launched an investigation into the matter and the calls to the non-emergency number are being analyzed to determine what’s causing the problem. The study also said that callers hang up the call in frustration as they are not able to get timely assistance.
His study found that the average waiting time of callers was six minutes and half of the callers are having to wait for about ten minutes before getting to an officer to report to. One fifth of the callers have to wait longer than 20 minutes and more than 25 percent of them hang up due to frustration. Many members of the public have complained about it saying it is frustrating and unacceptable.
Looking at the past months’ numbers, almost 3,768 members were not able to talk to a police officer when they tried to call the non-emergency police number and out of them, 2,763 people got an engaged tone. Hogg’s review of the situation said that the call handling technology used by the police was not fit for the purpose it is required for and that proved to be a substantial barrier to delivering a better service.
Hogg said, “I will continue to closely monitor performance until such time as I am satisfied it is improving and a reasonable service is being provided.” A Bideford based civilian who spent more than 20 minutes to report about an abandoned car said, “It makes people reluctant to call the police. Who can be arsed to wait that long?