Mayor welcomes ‘significant improvements’ in MPS’s 999 response

Latest statistics show that the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) answered 91 per cent of 999 calls within ten seconds last month, with an average wait time of seven seconds.

Feb 19, 2024
By Paul Jacques

This was above the national target of 90 per cent and marks a dramatic improvement after falling to 57.3 per cent in June 2022.

Waiting times for callers to the 101 non-emergency number have also fallen with the MPS taking steps to quickly assess the needs of the caller and redirect the more than 25 per cent of calls that do not have a policing purpose.

This has seen the wait time down from nearly eight minutes in June 2022 to one minute 50 seconds in January this year.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan welcomed the “significant improvements”, which he says follow a £2.5 million investment from City Hall last year to improve the training and resilience of the MPS’s Command and Control Centre.

This followed the findings of a PEEL inspection by His Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services, which found that the MPS needed to improve how it responds to calls from the public.

The MPS was placed into an ‘advanced stage of monitoring’ in June 2022, but last January Mr Khan announced a package of funding to support the MPS to exit ‘Special Measures’ “as quickly as possible and to accelerate the root and branch reforms and systemic change to the Met’s performance and culture”.

Last week, the mayor announced his intention to invest an additional £151 million in policing and crime prevention when he confirmed his final draft budget for 2024/25.

Mr Khan said: “It is vitally important that Londoners receive the very best service when they are in need, so I’m pleased that thanks to our funding, the Met has delivered a significant improvement in their call answering times.

“I’ve been determined to shine a spotlight on the true extent of the performance and cultural problems within the Met and am pleased in the progress that has been made in the call centre. That’s testament to the hard work of the Commissioner, his senior team and particularly the staff and officers in the call centre, who help millions of Londoners each year.

“I will continue to do all I can to support the Met Commissioner to build upon this and deliver the necessary change across the Met as we build a better London for all.”

Marie Heracleous, director of business services at the MPS, said: “Last month over 90 per cent of 999 calls to the Met were answered within ten seconds.

“With calls being answered more quickly we can get help to those who urgently need it. It means our officers can respond more quickly to incidents happening in their local community, helping victims of crime and arresting the criminals responsible.

“Our call handlers work around the clock to take calls and help those who need police assistance, where they don’t we will assess the call, and ensure they get the right care that they need.”

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