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Met Police significantly fail to meet response times for serious incidents

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Caroline Pidgeon discusses how the Met Police failing to meet response times

Information uncovered by the London Liberal Democrats has shown not one of the Met’s Basic Command Units (BCUs) in London met the target response time for S (significant) Grade 999 calls in the past three months.

‘S’ Grade calls are calls where there is a “degree of importance or urgency associated with the initial police action, but an emergency response is not required”. The target response time to a call of this urgency is 60 minutes.

Examples of S Grade calls include road traffic collisions, hate crimes, anti-social behaviour and burglaries.

Despite this target time, between Dec 2022 – February 2023 not a single Basic Command Unit had an average response time of below 1 hour 15 minutes with the average response time being 2 hours 2 minutes

In three BCUs: West (Ealing, Hounslow & Hillingdon), South West (Wandsworth, Merton, Kingston & Richmond) and North West (Barnet, Brent & Harrow), the average response time for S Grade calls was over 2 hours.

In two BCUs East (Redbridge, Havering & Barking and Dagenham) and North East (Newham & Waltham Forest) it was over 3 hours, with the wait time in East BCU during December 2022 reaching an extortionate 4 hours 42 minutes.

The data requested by the Liberal Democrats also showed that the Met did not meet its target time for answering 999 calls in any month between Dec 2022 and Feb 2023.

Commenting London Liberal Democrat Assembly Member and Police and Crime Spokesperson Caroline Pidgeon AM said:

“These figures on S Grade call response times are really quite shocking and many Londoners will find them deeply unsettling.

“It shows us that not only are target times being missed, but in the vast majority of boroughs they are nowhere close to being hit.

“The fact that someone in East London who has experienced a burglary or hate crime may have to wait almost 5 hours for a response just isn’t acceptable.

“In 2018 Sadiq Khan conceded that there were ‘some specific response times problems related to the rollout of the New Basic Command Units’, however here we are five years later and every single BCU is missing S Grade target times, most of them by a country mile.

“It is quite clear that we need a return to proper community policing with more borough-based officers and response teams to help Londoners when they need them most.”

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