Report reveals slow 999 response times

Hounslow Police have worst performance in London

Residents of Hounslow Borough have the longest wait in London for a police response to a 999 call. New figures from the Metropolitan Police Authority show that only 58.1% of calls in the borough are answered within the official target of 12 minutes. This compares with over 80% in Westminster and Kensington & Chelsea and a London-wide average of 72.8% Last year the average was 74.1%

Local GLA representative Tony Arbour said that it was incredible that response times could be 20% lower in Hounslow than in the neighbouring borough of Hammersmith and Fulham.

The number of 999 calls also increased by 3% in 2003 with 84.9% of them answered within 15 seconds. Scotland Yard said response times should improve with changes being made to the way calls are assessed.

The report by the MPA says one reason for the decline in response times may be the increase in police recruits. Metropolitan police numbers recently reached 30,000 and there are more probationers than ever before. In the space of 20 months the proportion of probationers has increased from one out of every five officers to just under one in three.

The figures come just a week after it was revealed that reported crime in Brentford and Chiswick had dropped sharply.

Hounslow Police did not respond to a request for comment on these figures.

February 13, 2004