Met Police take over two hours to respond to 'significant' 999 calls

Met Police take more than two hours to respond to ‘significant’ 999 calls, figures show

  • Scotland Yard takes twice as long as its target to reach such calls 

Scotland Yard takes more than two hours to respond to ‘significant’ grade 999 calls.

Figures show it reaches such calls in two hours and 15 minutes – more than twice as long as the target and up 52 minutes on 2017.

A ‘significant’ grade call is one that requires police intervention ‘with a degree of urgency’ but not an emergency response. Guidelines state victims should not wait more than an hour.

The calls include shoplifting, anti-social behaviour, burglary and hate crimes.

It comes amid a shoplifting epidemic exacerbated by the cost of living crisis, with 88 companies including Tesco and Sainsbury’s writing to the Government earlier this month to demand action.

Scotland Yard takes more than two hours to respond to ‘significant’ grade 999 calls

The figures obtained by LBC radio show the average response time has shortened by 20 minutes in a year, but remains 75 minutes longer than guidance dictates it should be.

Rob Blackie, Liberal Democrat candidate for mayor of London, told LBC: ‘The police response to significant 999 calls is far too slow. It is completely unacceptable, and the public have a right to expect better.’

Caroline Russell, who chairs the London Assembly’s police and crime committee, said the Yard, which receives 10,000 calls a day, ‘needs to get on top of this’. She added: ‘Crimes like shoplifting and mugging can be really frightening for victims. To wait over two hours for the Met to respond is just far too long.’

A spokesman for Sadiq Khan, mayor of London, said an additional £5million had been spent on the Met’s contact centre to improve response times.

‘Tackling crime and making London safer is the mayor’s top priority. In London, the majority of emergency calls are responded to within national target times, but it’s clear more needs to be done to improve the service Londoners receive,’ the spokesman added.

A Met Police spokesman said: ‘We always prioritise calls where someone is in danger or a crime, like a street robbery or mugging, is in progress.

‘With regard to shoplifting we are working hard with retailers in London to understand how they can report shoplifting more effectively so we can provide a better level of service without redirecting resources away from other cases involving immediate harm.’

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