Nottinghamshire police fail to answer over 82,000 101 calls

Nottinghamshire Police have failed to answer 82,809 calls to their non emergency line since January 2017.

The figures have been revealed after a Freedom of Information Request was submitted.

Nottinghamshire Police have failed to answer 82,809 calls to their non emergency line since January 2017.

Nottinghamshire Police have failed to answer 82,809 calls to their non emergency line since January 2017.

Complaints from residents to the council include the length of time they have to wait to their calls, and calls not being answered at all.

The Freedom of Information Request, submitted by Ashfield Independents revealed that since January 2017, 82,809 calls to 101 were abandoned by callers across Nottinghamshire.

Some residents stayed on the phone for up to 27 minutes until their call was answered.

Councillor Jason Zadrozny, who sits on the police authority claims that the figures are a 'scandal' and laid bare a 'crisis' in policing.

Councillor Zadrozny, leader of Ashfield District Council said: "These figures are astonishing and show how residents in most need are being let down by Nottinghamshire Police. Residents tell me all the time that they try to contact the Police but are waiting for so long they give up.

"Many more tell me that they don't even bother to call any more. Latest police figures show that crime is going up across Nottinghamshire in almost every single category.

"I put it to the police that they have no idea about the amount of crime in our County. The situation is clearly a lot worse that their statistics reveal.

"The Police tell us that things are improving - it's clear that they are but if the police think that not answering 57,935 calls in 2017 compared to not answering 27,874 in 2018 is good enough - they are not on resident's side."

However, bosses at Notts police say the average waiting time is 18 seconds, and that the force has worked hard to reduce the number of abandoned calls.

Chief Inspector James Woolley of contact management for Nottinghamshire Police said: "The force receives on average 460 calls a day to the 999 emergency number and over 1,100 calls a day to the non-emergency 101 number.

"We prioritise 999 calls and also aim to answer the non-emergency 101 calls as quickly as we can.

"Where members of the public ring 101 and then ring off before being answered, even when this may be after a short period of time, these register as abandoned calls.

"The reasons for calls being abandoned are vast and often may not be related to being dissatisfied by the length of time it takes to answer, although we do recognise on occasions this is the reason.

"Over the past two years the force has worked hard to reduce the number of abandoned calls, including providing callers with details of how long they may have to wait to be answered, particularly at peak times and increasing our staffing levels within our contact management department.

"This has seen the number of abandoned calls cut by half and the average waiting time is currently 18 seconds."

"We continue to develop automated services to provide the public with the simplest and easiest access to information or to enable them to directly contact officers and departments without the need to speak to a call handler.

"We continue to develop our website as a source of useful information and alternative means to provide information, ask questions and report crime.

"Unfortunately some 101 calls may not be answered as soon as others, and will have longer than the desired time to be answered due to the volume of emergency calls the force may be receiving at that time. This is the non-emergency number and therefore 999 call response will always take precedence.

"We continue to endeavour to ensure we can deal with calls as quickly as possible and seek to identify other ways to contact us to ensure the phone lines are free for those who need to contact us through this system."

Paddy Tipping, Police and Crime Commissioner said: “No comparable data is available to judge different forces’ performance. However, from my own inquiries I believe that Nottinghamshire’s performance is above the national average. It reflects the enormous amount of work the force has done to improve performance in recent months. Further work is in hand to do even better.

“There is real pressure on the Police and their budget, that’s why later on this year a national review of the 101 service is planned. We are all determined to offer a better service to residents in Nottinghamshire and all across the country.”