Calls to 101 abandoned

A QUARTER of all 101 calls made to the police in Hampshire are abandoned, according to an inspection report.

The inspection, which looked at the effectiveness, efficiency and legitimacy of Hampshire Constabulary, said that “in too many cases 101 calls are abandoned”.

It found that while calls to the emergency 999 line are answered quickly, around 25 per cent of calls to 101 were hung up before being answered.

The report said: “The force can’t identify the nature of abandoned calls or whether callers user another route, such as 999 or online, to get in touch.”

It added: “A new contact management system that the force is due to start using later this year should help it better understand the types of calls that are abandoned.”

The report, published earlier this year by Her Majesty’s Inspector of Constabularies and Fire and Rescue Services, rated Hampshire Constabulary as “good” overall.

Zoë Billingham, an inspector, said: “I am pleased with Hampshire Constabulary’s overall performance, and the force continues to improve despite being one of the lowest funded forces in England and Wales. The force has successfully addressed many of those areas where we identified it could do better in our previous inspections. We have seen improvements in how it investigates and records crime, protects vulnerable people and treats its staff and the public.”

She added that she was “particularly pleased” with the work the force does to protect victims of domestic abuse.

Figures showed that 14 per cent of domestic abuse crimes resulted in a charge or summonsed. This compared to 16 per cent for the rest of England and Wales.

The report said that resources are focused into the areas of highest risk to the public, adding: “Senior leaders are clear though that this means that they can’t always give the level of service they wish in every area of activity.”

However, the force is expected to increase its officers by 156, and the inspector said the impact of this will be monitored on how it resolves this issue.

A spokesperson for Hampshire Constabulary said: “We strive to answer all calls coming in to our 999 and 101 lines as quickly as possible, to ensure the public receive the best possible service from us.

“Each day, we are faced with a high level of demand to both our 999 and 101 services.

“All calls that we receive are assessed by our skilled call handlers to identify the threat, risk and harm that is posed, and no two calls are the same.

“We prioritise incoming 999 calls, as these are the most likely to relate to the most serious threats, risks and harm.

“Statistics help to measure our successes, and they also allow us to identify areas for improvement. The latter is something we are constantly looking to do to ensure the best possible service is provided.

“This year we have introduced our Contact Management Platform, which is used to log and manage incoming 999 and 101 calls, and has so far taken over 100,000 reports.

“We are also actively recruiting more operational officers and call handlers to protect people and prevent crime.

“Policing in Hampshire does not receive the same level of funding as elsewhere in the country.

“Against this context, achieving a 'Good' rating in every possible category of the latest report for the second time running is impressive.

“It is a testament to the commitment of all our officers and staff, who selflessly serve the public, day in and day out, at a challenging time when serious violence is growing across the country.

“The support of local tax payers has helped us serve the public to the best of our ability in recent years.

“This, together with the welcome national increase in police officers, gives us an opportunity to invest in technology and officer wellbeing so that we can further improve the way we tackle crime and protect our communities.”

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