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Crime commissioner Matthew Scott praises Kent Police for drastic reduction in 101 call waiting times

Kent Police has succeeded in improving its response time to non-emergency 101 calls.

A combination of new staff and moving the control room from Sutton Road in Maidstone to a new facility at the Coldharbour Station at Aylesford has paid off.

Matthew Scott visits the new control room at Coldharbour
Matthew Scott visits the new control room at Coldharbour

The Kent Police and Crime Commissioner, Matthew Scott, had berated the force in September, 2022, after statistics showed people were giving up on using the 101 number because of long waiting times, and turning, inappropriately, to the emergency 999 number.

But this week he was full of praise.

He said: “I visited the new Kent Police Force Control Room to see the teams after their relocation.

“It’s a great new facility.

“I was also pleased to see that their excellent performance continues; it is now one of the best control rooms in the country, with less than 3% call attrition and average waiting times of 22 seconds for 101 calls in January.

Kent Police and Crime Commissioner Matthew Scott
Kent Police and Crime Commissioner Matthew Scott

“It was an average of 15 minutes and 55% attrition in October 2022.

“This is a magnificent effort by officers and staff - thank you and well done!”

By attrition, Mr Scott means callers who ring off before their call is answered.

Detective Chief Superintendent Patrick Holmes is the head of the force's Crime and Incident Response.

He said: “Kent Police is committed to making it as easy as possible for people to contact us, and in a non-emergency situation the quickest method is online at www.kent.police.uk/report.

“However, we know some people prefer to contact us by telephone and it is therefore very pleasing that we have greatly improved our ability to answer calls from the public in a timely manner, so much so, that we are now among the best-performing police forces in the country.

“Our control room staff do an excellent job dealing with many difficult, sensitive and high-pressured situations at all hours of the day and night, all year round.

“I am extremely grateful to them for the consistently high level of service they provide to the people of Kent, many of whom are vulnerable and calling at times of great need.”

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