A new study has found that Bedfordshire Police take the longest amount of time to answer emergency calls.
Research conducted by accident compensation experts claims.co.uk analysed the latest available data to determine how long police forces take to answer emergency phone calls. The study calculated the weighted average time it took for each constabulary to answer calls over the past year; the forces were then ranked.
With an average time of 36.10 seconds over the past year, Bedfordshire Police statistically take the longest amount of time to answer emergency calls. The police force also have the highest percentage of calls answered at 60 seconds or longer (20.56%).
Gloucestershire Constabulary not only had the fewest calls but ranked in second for the longest time taken for police services to answer emergency calls. The force also has the third-highest percentage of calls answered at 60 seconds or more with 14.1%.
Although the Metropolitan Police Service have by far the greatest number of total calls, they ranked in third for the average time taken to answer an emergency phone call (25.47 seconds). The MPS is also unfortunately high on the list of services (fifth) that answer a greater percentage of their calls after a minute or more (11.46%).
With an average of 24.9 seconds taken to answer an emergency call, Devon & Cornwall Police ranked in fourth. In addition, 12.51% of their calls took the department 60 seconds or longer to answer.
West Midlands Police, are among the forces who take the longest amount of time to answer emergency phone calls, ranking in fifth. The service also has the second-highest percentage of calls answered at 60 seconds or longer (14.77%), behind only the Bedfordshire Police.
The Suffolk Constabulary ranked next with an average answer time of 22.39 seconds to answer emergency calls. The service also ranked in the top 10 for the highest percentage of calls answered after a minute or more with 9.41%.
North Yorkshire Police take the seventh longest amount of time to answer emergency calls (22.05 seconds). They also ranked in the same position for the highest percentage of calls answered after 60 seconds or longer with 10.22%.
Meanwhile, Staffordshire Police, ranked in eighth. The service averages just under 22 seconds to answer emergency calls. However, more than 11% of their calls over the past year took a minute or longer to answer, a figure that is the sixth highest out of any constabulary in the UK.
Northumbria Police (19.22 seconds) and the Durham Constabulary (17.99 seconds) ranked in ninth and tenth respectively to complete the list of forces who average the longest wait time for an answer to an emergency call.
On the other side of the scale, with a weighted average of just 7.78 seconds taken to answer an emergency call, North Wales Police have the quickest emergency call answer time. Only 845 of the service’s calls over the past year took 60 seconds or longer to answer, a figure that means they are the only police force in the UK where less than 1% of calls take more than a minute’s wait to be answered.
Lincolnshire Police (7.82 seconds) and Cleveland Police (7.85 seconds) are the only other forces who average less than 8 seconds to answer an emergency call.
The Northamptonshire Police (8.31 seconds) are statistically the fourth quickest force at answering emergency calls. They also boast the second-best percentage (1.04%) for calls that took 60 seconds or more to answer.
Avon and Somerset Constabulary (8.32 seconds), Nottinghamshire Police (8.88 seconds) and the Dyfed-Powys Police (8.89 seconds) services have the fifth, sixth and seventh best average answer times to emergency calls. Meanwhile, the Police Service of Northern Ireland (9.08 seconds), also average less than 10 seconds to answer.
Cumbria (9.30 seconds) and Norfolk’s (9.52 seconds) constabularies make up the rest of the 10 forces with the quickest emergency call answer times.
A representative from claims.co.uk said, “Thousands of emergency calls are made each year. This research offers a fascinating insight into how quickly every UK police department answers those calls.
“Even the constabularies with the slowest emergency answer times tend to answer calls as quickly as possible, which only bodes well for the people they promise to serve and protect.”