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Council leader describes response times as ‘disappointing’ since tri-borough police merger

PUBLISHED: 15:29 14 September 2017 | UPDATED: 15:29 14 September 2017

Police response times have been labelled

Police response times have been labelled "not acceptable". Picture: Ellie Hoskins

Archant

Police response times have been branded “disappointing”, with one in three high risk calls not being responded to quickly enough.

Havering Council leader Councillor Roger Ramsey revealed how response times for the East Area Command Unit – made up of police officers from Havering, Redbridge and Barking – compared to the rest of the capital, at Wednesday night’s full council meeting.

He firstly explained that high priority calls are classified as “I” for immediate and “S” for significant and that the Metropolitan Police Service aims to respond to “I” calls within 15 minutes and to “S” calls within an hour.

Across the capital over the past 12 months, 84.4pc of “I” calls and 76.2pc of “S” calls have been responded to within the target times.

But, Cllr Ramsey said, the tri-borough had only responded to 67pc of “I” calls and 56pc of the “S” calls within the charter time.

More recently fewer than half of “S” calls were being dealt with during the dedicated one hour period.

“The recent figures for police response times in the borough have been particularly disappointing.

“It will be of no surprise to me if members were now to question the value of any further involvement in this three-borough pilot and to demand a rethink of the whole proposal.

“We shall clearly need to give immediate consideration to this matter.”

In June 2016, before the formation of the East Area Command Unit, around 75pc of “I” calls were appropriately responded to but during the same month this year, this figure dropped by about 30pc.

As figures have come to light, the tri-borough response teams have once again been separated to take emergency calls in individual boroughs.

Deputy assistant commissioner Mark Simmons said: “In the last week, they’ve gone up from around 55pc of calls within our target, which was absolutely not good enough, but this last week they’ve hit over 70pc.

“We’ve made some major changes to how we’re doing it, in response.

“Now I know that’s just over a single week, so I know people will want to see that continue to go up, but it proves we’re going in the right direction.”

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