North Yorkshire Police has made improvements to the time it takes to answer 999 calls following a major investment in its control room.
According to a report that will be discussed by councillors next week, the number of calls answered within 10 seconds has improved from 74% to 90% over the last year, which means the force is finally meeting a national target set by government.
NYP has faced years of criticism over its call answering with a damning report from inspectors in 2022 describing its use of resources as ‘inadequate’ and adding it must speed up the time callers pick up 999 and 101 calls from the public.
At the time, the force was well below the national standard with only 42% of 999 calls being answered within 10 seconds.
North Yorkshire Police typically deals with more than 10,000 emergency 999 calls a month.
Conservative crime commissioner Zoe Metcalfe made improving response times one of her priorities and last year announced a £2.5m investment into the control room in York, which included the hiring of an additional 50 people to ease pressure.
In December 2023, inspectors praised the force for identifying concerns regarding response times.
Commissioner Metcalfe will face councillors on North Yorkshire Council’s police, fire and crime panel in Northallerton next Monday.
In an update ahead of the meeting, she said: “I was delighted In December 2023 when it was confirmed that the cause of concern which His Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary, Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS) identified during their PEEL (Police Effectiveness, Efficiency and Legitimacy) inspection in October 2022 had been resolved.
“The Inspectorate noted that significant steps had been taken in response to the cause of concern being issued; that strengthened governance and an improved understanding of force performance was improving service to the public through delivery of an improved police service.
“To see the single cause for concern removed just 12-months on from the initial inspection is a tremendous achievement, and testament to the hard work of both the chief constable and their whole team, and crucially, demonstrated the effectiveness of public oversight.
“It is fantastic that the clear improvement plan put in place following the initial inspection last year has led to genuine, embedded, and measurable progress in keeping the public safe and feeling safe.”