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Unanswered 999 and 101 Calls - 1052/19

Date Responded 06 September 2019

Provision of information held by Northumbria Police made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the 'Act')

As you may be aware the purpose of the Act is to allow a general right of access to information held at the time of a request, by a Public Authority (including the Police), subject to certain limitations and exemptions.

You asked:

  1. The number of 999 calls that the force received per year within the financial years - 2016/17, 2017/18 and 2018/19
  2. The number of 999 calls that were unanswered per year between the financial years - 2016/17, 2017/18 and 2018/19
  3. The number of 101 calls that the force received per year within the financial years - 2016/17, 2017/18 and 2018/19
  4. The number of 101 calls that were unanswered per year between the financial years - 2016/17, 2017/18 and 2018/19

For clarity:

- By unanswered, I am referring to 999/101 calls whereby the caller did not receive a reply at all or was hung up on or disconnected before they got through to a response team

In Response:

Following receipt of your request, searches were conducted with the Communications Department of Northumbria Police.  I can confirm that the information you have requested is held by Northumbria Police.

I am able to disclose the located information to you as follows.

1.

Year

999 Calls Received

2016/2017

211,449

2017/2018

240,884

2018/2019

239,453

 

2. 999 calls will never go unanswered, the Contact Handling system used by Northumbria Police presents 999 calls automatically to the next available Contact Handler, they do not have the ability to "decline" to answer the call.  In the event of a disconnection whilst the call is with the BT 999 operator they will still advise us that a call was in the process of being delivered, the NP contact handler will then ring the caller back to ensure there are no safety/vulnerability issues.

3. 

Year

101 Calls Received

2016/2017

749,206

2017/2018

814,735

2018/2019

714,328

 

4. As with 999 calls 101 calls would not go unanswered, as outlined at question two, the same system is used to deliver 101 calls to the next available Contact Handler or Customer Service Specialist, again they do not have the ability to "decline" to answer the call.  The system does not automatically disconnect a call no matter the duration of the wait time to be answered and also plays "comfort" messages to advise the caller that all staff are busy and their call will be answered as soon as possible.

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