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Unacceptable! 101’s humiliating rise in waiting times across Sussex

A rise of almost 600% during one month alone compared to last year.

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A recent performance and accountability meeting between the Sussex Police Commissioner and the Chief Constable Giles York has revealed shocking figures around the increase in waiting times for 101 calls.

Referring to figures provided by the police, the commissioner Katy Bourne noted that figures between May ’17 and May ’18 showed an overwhelming 588% rise in waiting times.

The average waiting time in May ’17 was only 2 minutes 4 secs whilst the same period this year (2018) was 14 minutes 39 seconds.

The rest of the year faired no better with comparisons between Aug ’17 and ’18 showing an increase of over 200%.

What makes these figures even more alarming is there was also a drop of almost 20% in call volume for both periods.

But Chief Constable Giles York responded by saying that there had been a huge increase in the number of reports now done online, an increase of over 44,000.

The problem he said was that whilst there was an increase in this online reporting, it was still being handled by the same number of people that took the calls and this is where the problem most likely lay.

The Commissioner also pointed out that figures clearly showed that in just one year drop out figures for 101 (calls abandoned by people trying to get through) had more than doubled.

Mr York said that when a person calls 101, the first thing they will hear is his voice saying:
“If you think you can report this online then please do because it might be better for you as an experience”

The Chief Constable went on to say that they were also seeing a large number of calls being abandoned after only 4 minutes.

They also did a survey to ask how many people who had used the online service had tried to use other means to contact the police and a worrying 62% said they had.

It seems that the digital age is creeping into all aspects of society now and with a recent recruitment drive by the police for officers there now is a question of the need to increase support staff as well.

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Girls and women across Crawley asked for help to tackle violence and abuse

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The views of women and girls across Crawley are being sought to help shape Government strategy to tackle violence and abuse.

The Government is updating the Violence Against Women and Girls strategy and has launched a nationwide Call for Evidence in order to ensure that those who have lived experiences of abuse and violence, and the views of members of the public, are at the heart of plans to stop these harmful crimes. The Call to Evidence runs until 19th February 2021.

The Government has already taken a number of important steps in this area, including strengthening the law on crimes such as stalking, forced marriage and female genital mutilation (FGM), but there is more to do.

There have already been many responses, shining a sobering light on the prevalence of gender-based violence in our society. This information is also absolutely invaluable in shaping the most effective policy to fight the scourge of Violence Against Women and Girls.

Crawley MP Henry Smith is urging those who have experiences or views to come forward in the final few weeks of the Government’s Call for Evidence, and to take part in the anonymous survey.

This not only includes frontline professionals and academics, victims and survivors, but their families and friends and members of the public in Crawley who have been indirectly affected.

You can participate in the call for evidence by completing the public survey.

Henry said;

“I know it takes a lot of courage for those who have experienced violence and abuse to come forward, but this information is vital in tackling acts of gender-based violence.

“Our strategy needs to reflect the views and experiences of those who have been directly and indirectly affected, in order to stop these harmful and often hidden crimes happening in our society.

“Crimes that disproportionately affect women and girls range from rape and FGM to upskirting and online offences; they can have terrible effects on victims. We want to do all we can to tackle these appalling crimes, through a new strategy to tackle Violence Against Women and Girls.

“With one month to go until the Call for Evidence closes, let’s create a strategy to tackle crimes against women and girls in the 21st century.”

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