This page shows data on 999 call answering times, for the force you’ve chosen and compared to the other Forces of England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland.
Call answering time is the time taken for a call to be transferred from BT to a force, and the time taken by that force to answer the call.
Not all 999 calls are connected by BT to a force call handler. If the caller is not distressed and does not object to being left in a queue, the BT operator will place the call on the relevant police force system to wait to be answered. BT cannot measure when these calls are answered by the force and these calls are not included in these tables. These volumes vary by force but represent 4% to 7% of all calls received.
There are also other circumstances where 999 calls cannot be included in these figures: calls that are connected to another emergency service first and calls that are cancelled while waiting in the queue. The data published accurately represents police responsiveness to people in urgent emergency situations and we continue to work with BT to expand on the 999 data that we publish.
Forces in England, Wales and Northern Ireland aim to answer 90% of 999 calls within ten seconds.
Police Scotland’s performance metric is to have a mean answering time (the total waiting time divided by the total number of 999 calls) of under ten seconds.
Every force is continuously looking to provide its community with an improved service and 999 answering times are one part of that service.
There are numerous things that impact 999 call volumes and answering times, for example public incidents or times of the year when the population in a force’s jurisdiction increase with tourists.