Met Police data has revealed that barely half of ‘significant’ 999 calls in East London over the past year were attended to within their target time.

Between December 2022 and February 2023, 50.4% of ‘S Grade’ calls in the region had a response time of within the target of one hour, while the rest were responded to later, the report said.

‘S Grade’ calls are ‘low urgency’ and have a degree of importance but do not necessarily need an emergency response. Road traffic collisions, hate crimes, anti-social behaviour and burglaries are included in this category.

The force's east borough command unit had the worst average response time of 4hrs 42mins, while the best performing unit was in central north, with an average response time of 1hr 18mins.

City Hall Liberal Democrats said data released in response to a question at Mayor's Question Time showed that "not a single" basic Met Police command unit had met the one-hour target.

The average time in East London was said to be three hours, with waits as long as 4 hours and 42 minutes in December 2022, the press release claimed.

Lib-Dem spokesperson Caroline Pidgeon AM called the response times "quite shocking".

She said: “The fact that someone in East London who has experienced a burglary or hate crime may have to wait almost five hours for a response just isn’t acceptable.”

But a Met Police spokesperson said the Lib Dems' claims were “inaccurate”, and said that in percentage terms, the force achieved the target time in half the cases in East London.

Met Police spokesperson said: "From December 1, 2022 to February 28,  2023 the Met received 915,842 calls. Londoners rightly expect us to be there for them when they need us and we recognise the importance of being able to respond to the most serious emergencies as effectively as possible.

"Our officers are regularly the first emergency service workers at the scene of a stabbing or a serious collision and they are trained to provide first aid, as well as to keep the public safe.”

The Met's Commissioner Sir Mark Rowley has raised the issue of the pressures created on policing from cutbacks in other emergency and local services, the spokesperson added.

The Mayor's office cited the Casey report's findings that austerity has "profoundly impacted" the Met, which has had its budget cut by 18% since 2010 compared to the previous decade.

Mayor Sadiq Khan’s office acknowledged that while the vast majority of 999 calls in London are responded to within national target times, more needs to be done to reduce the delays.  

A spokesperson for Mayor of London said: “Nothing is more important to the Mayor than keeping Londoners safe and his record funding of the police is working to put more officers on our streets... This is despite huge cuts from central government." 

An additional £29.3 million generated by an increase in council tax in 2023-24, will go directly to fund 500 additional Police Community Support Officers, the Mayor’s office shared.

The Mayor is also reportedly investing £2.5 million from City Hall to improve the training and resilience of Met staff who handle more than six million emergency calls from and online queries from the public every year.