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Ryall: 180,000 calls to police abandoned

Ryall: 180,000 calls to police abandoned

One in ten calls to police communications centres are abandoned as callers give up waiting, says National Party Law and Order spokesman Tony Ryall.

Answers from the Police Minister to parliamentary questions show that, in the year ended May, almost 180,000 calls to police communications centres were abandoned by callers.

“To have one in ten callers hang up in frustration is appalling. That’s 180,000 calls; many of which would have been emergencies,” says Mr Ryall.

In 2002, 62,000 calls were abandoned.

Mr Ryall says Labour still hasn’t done anything practical to fix the emergency system.

“We have seen nothing from George Hawkins except a string of reports and endless planning.”

Information obtained from the Police Minister shows that police are still failing to meet their own target of answering 111 calls in 10 seconds and non-emergency calls in 30 seconds. Instead, delays are increasing across the country.

General calls to Auckland and Wellington police call-centres are now waiting over a minute to be dealt with. General calls include calls sent on from police stations and unattended switchboards. An independent report on the call centres described the delays in answering genuine emergency calls received through the general queue as serious (see Mi-Quality Report: page 16).

These numbers do not include 111 calls that are abandoned; they are over and above these figures.

“This information shows that nothing has changed since the disappearance of Iraena Asher, and the callous bashing of Peter Bentley near Te Puke. Nothing has changed to help someone phoning in with an emergency situation tonight,” says Mr Ryall.


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