Police response slows as 'too few officers pass advanced driving tests'

Too few officers have passed their advanced driving tests

Too few officers have passed their advanced driving tests, the Havering Council meeting heard - Credit: Metropolitan Police

Police are taking longer to get to emergencies in east London because too few officers have passed advanced driving tests, a meeting was told.

Almost a third of 999 callers in Redbridge, Havering and Barking and Dagenham this year did not see police arrive until 15 or more minutes later.

Ch Insp Lisa Butterfield admitted this figure “looks bad” compared to last year, when more than 80 per cent of calls were responded to in less than 15 minutes. 

On October 5, she told Havering Council’s crime and disorder panel the increase in response times was due to a “combination of factors”.

She said: “With a lot of newer officers, we just haven’t had driving courses to support them, which impacts how fast they can drive.”


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“The other thing is we really didn’t push the need to get there within 15 minutes time.

“What that data set doesn’t tell you is how far outside the target time those calls are, whether it’s 30 seconds or 15 minutes.”

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She explained the teams had been encouraged to focus on thoroughness and victim care, instead of “chasing the next call and the next call”.

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