North Yorkshire Police admit delays after 101 calls go unanswered

North Yorkshire Police has admitted callers to its 101 service may face delays at peak times after calls made by Dales residents went unanswered.

In a response to a complaint from Upper Dales county councillor John Blackie, the force said the 200 staff in the control room received more than 2,500 calls at the weekend.

Cllr Blackie said he had tried to call the force control room on the 101 number on Saturday to report a distressed teenager in Hawes town centre.

This story continues after the adverts:

However, he got no response.

He said: “I rang 101 continuously for 30 minutes and failed to get an answer.

“I then used the dedicated police line housed in the yellow box on the outside wall of the Upper Wensleydale Community Office and although the line rang out, I again failed to get an answer.

“Presumably because it is a non–urgent number, there is no urgency at your end and so nobody can be bothered to answer it !!

He added that other residents had tried to call about an ongoing case but again nobody picked up.

In response, North Yorkshire Police spokesperson said its dedicated force control room team are on hand 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to answer all emergency 999 calls and non-emergency 101 calls which come in across North Yorkshire.

A spokesperson added: “Made up of around 200 permanent members of staff, the Force Control Room handled a total of 840 999 calls and 1808 101 call across Saturday 1 July and Sunday 2 July 2017.

Our 101 call service should be used if you need to contact the police but your situation does not require immediate attention. At times of high demand, such as this weekend, callers may need to wait as staff deal with emergency calls, but calls will cost 15p regardless of length.

When calling 101, if a member of the public want to speak to an officer directly and they know their name or collar number, they can select option 2 and state the officers name or collar number. The automated switch board will connect them through to the officer in question or their voicemail.

In an emergency, such as if there is a danger to life, or a serious crime is in progress, always dial 999.”