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Figures disclose need for further scrutiny

13 January 2005

Figures disclose need for further scrutiny

"Police figures showing that average response times to Priority One events in urban areas are two minutes slower than target times confirm the need for the Communications Centre review," Police Minister George Hawkins said today.

"Among many other things, the review will look at the reasons why the target times are not being met in some districts.

"We already know that there are some administrative problems with the way in which the response times are recorded. These may have a significant impact on the average time taken between a call being received at a Communications Centre and the time the responding Police vehicle logs off at the scene.

"The first priority for officers arriving at a scene is to try to deal with the incident – not to spend precious time contacting the Communications Centre to log their arrival. The public would rightfully criticise us if police sat in the car to register their arrival rather than deal with the issue which brought them there.

"The averages will also be significantly affected by the occasions complainants negotiate a time for the Police to arrive which suits the needs of the complainant. A single delayed response time of two days, at the request of individual members of the public, would have a profound effect on the calculation of the average response time.

"I am confident that the way in which response times are recorded and reported will be improved in the next few months so they can become an even more useful gauge of Police performance.

"Police have not been required to report on their performance in this way under previous governments – at last we are getting a real picture of how well our Police do their vital community job," concluded the Minister.


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