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Redbridge 999 response time waits among the worst in London, figures reveal

PUBLISHED: 07:00 05 October 2018 | UPDATED: 14:52 09 October 2018

The Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, pictured with Met Police Commissioner Cressida Dick, has come under fire over 999 call response times. Picture: PA IMAGES

The Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, pictured with Met Police Commissioner Cressida Dick, has come under fire over 999 call response times. Picture: PA IMAGES

PA Archive/PA Images

Redbridge is in the top five for the longest response time to 999 calls, figures have revealed.

The numbers show officers on average took an hour and 45 minutes between getting a call graded “s” or “significant” – the second highest priority – and turning up at an incident in the borough in June.

This was the fourth highest time for such calls of 32 London boroughs and way above the hour laid down by the rules behind Barking and Dagenham’s two hour high.

The highest priority calls – known as “i” grade – were within a 15 minute time limit.

London Assembly member Caroline Pidgeon, who uncovered the figures, said: “The severe delays are a serious concern mayor Sadiq Khan needs to address.”

The average response time in February was an hour.

The borough’s force merged with Barking and Dagenham and Havering’s squads the same month.

In March the “s” grade response time rose to 61 minutes then 81 in April.

A spokesman for the mayor said Sadiq Khan was doing everything he could to protect frontline services under pressure from “reckless” government austerity measures.

He added that “crippling” £1billion government cuts had led to officer numbers dropping below 30,000 in the capital for the first time in more than ten years.

A Met spokesman said: “The challenges facing the MPS are well known. Our main focus is on responding to emergency calls within 15 minutes.

“The latest figures show over the past six months the force, as a whole, is staying within an average of 15 minutes.”

He added that the total number of 999 calls to the Met has gradually increased over the past 18 months.

The causes include nuisance callers, weather, increasing population or significant events.

“There is ongoing work across the Met to maintain and improve the emergency response service,” he said.

Has being forced to wait for a police response to a 999 call had a serious impact on you? We would like to hear from you if so.

Contact reporter Jon King on 020 8477 3893 or email jonathan.king@archant.co.uk

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