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PCC reveals only 23% of calls to the police are to report a crime

20 October 2023

Police and Crime Commissioner Donna Jones has revealed police contact figures which show just 23% of all contact into Hampshire and Isle of Wight Constabulary is actually crime related.

In September, Hampshire and Isle of Wight Constabulary was contacted 58,025 times via 999, 101 and online reporting, but only 35,596 of those contacts were recorded as incidents and just 13,507 were crime related.

The remaining 22.5k calls for service were for non-police matters, which take up valuable call-handling time.

Police and Crime Commissioner Donna Jones said: “These extra calls for non-police business are creating a queue for calls to be answered, not just on the 101 line but on the 999 line as well.

“Many of the calls and reports police receive are for other agencies and this creates a queue for genuine emergencies and those wishing to report a crime to get through.

“Unnecessary online reports also have to be reviewed by call handling staff which takes them away from processing crime reports and other serious incidents reported online.

“The statistics from September are just an example of how many calls for service police receive which are often about matters for other agencies.”

In July 2023, Hampshire and Isle of Wight Constabulary published call handling statistics from one ten-hour shift in the call control room on a Saturday night to urge communities to think before they dial 999.

On that shift, call handlers answered 714 calls via the 999 emergency number.

Of these calls, only 49%, 349, were genuine emergencies.

The remaining 51% were either made in error (44 calls), confirmed as not being a new incident, for example a general enquiry or an update to an existing report (171 calls), or were not emergencies and should have been reported online or via 101 (150 calls).

Police and Crime Commissioner Donna Jones said: “It is vital the public know which service to contact when they need help to ensure those who genuinely need police assistance are able to get the police response they need.

“The police have become a 24-hour advice service and this is stopping them from performing their core business.

“Councils and other agencies have a role to play here and I would like them to work with the Constabulary to ensure the public have access to the right agency to get the right support.”