13 Oct 2009

Police response times to top priority calls declines

10:58 pm on 13 October 2009

Latest figures on police callouts show response times for serious reported crime have declined, but the performance of police call centres has improved slightly.

The figures are included in the police annual report for the 2008-2009 year.

For priority one events - where there is a real threat to life or property - 63% of events in urban areas were attended within 10 minutes of being reported, compared with 67% the previous year.

In rural areas, 81% of priority one events were attended within 30 minutes.

Of 111 calls, 95% were answered within 10 seconds of being placed - the same as in the previous year.

For non-emergency calls, it was 88%, compared with 87% the previous year.

The Police Association says the numbers have been made worse by an emphasis on resolving non-serious crimes, which are a key performance indicator for management.

But Assistant Commissioner Viv Rickard maintains that attending priority one responses are the important measure for police, and officers aim to get to such jobs as quickly as possible.