Khan hails faster 999 call pick-up times by Met Police

91% of calls are now being answered within ten seconds, up from 57% in June 2022, reports Noah Vickers, Local Democracy Reporter

Sadiq Khan (credit LDRS/Noah Vickers)
Sadiq Khan (credit LDRS/Noah Vickers)

Sadiq Khan has hailed a “massive” improvement in the speed with which the Met Police is answering 999 calls across London.

New statistics show that while only 57.3% of calls were being answered within ten seconds in June 2022, the figure as of last month stood at 91%.

It comes after a £2.5m investment from the mayor aimed at improving call handling at the Met’s Command and Control Centre.

Khan told the Local Democracy Reporting Service: “We’ve seen over the last 14 years massive cuts from the government because of austerity, which means the Met Police service has struggled in relation to the right number of police officers, the right number of police staff, and the right level of investment in kit.

“Because of our investment in the Met Police service, our investment in the Command and Control Centre, investment in relation to recruitment of staff, resilience and training, we’ve seen a massive transformation in the service Londoners receive.

“So it’s a huge source of pride to me, [that] the Met Police is now one of the best, if not the best, in relation to both 999 and 101 calls.”

He added: “Those seconds and those minutes can be the difference between the right level of support reaching you sooner rather than later.”

Waiting times for callers to the 101 non-emergency number have dropped from nearly eight minutes in June 2022 to one minute 50 seconds in January this year, City Hall said. The cut was achieved by the Met taking steps to more effectively assess callers’ needs and redirect the more than 25% of calls that do not have a policing purpose.

Marie Heracleous, the Met’s director of business services, said: “With calls being answered more quickly we can get help to those who urgently need it. It means our officers can respond more quickly to incidents happening in their local community, helping victims of crime and arresting the criminals responsible.

“Our call handlers work around the clock to take calls and help those who need police assistance. Where they don’t, we will assess the call, and ensure they get the right care that they need.”

On Wednesday (14th) the mayor announced almost £50m of additional funding for the Met as he set out the final details of his annual budget.

He said the financial support given by City Hall to the Met from April – much of it already announced last month – would be £151m higher than for the current financial year.

But the amount is not enough to provide all of the £76m sought by Met commissioner Sir Mark Rowley to fund his ‘New Met for London’ plan – aimed at boosting community policing and tackling racism and misogyny following a damning report by Baroness Casey into the force’s culture.

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