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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.

Coronavirus

BREAKING NEWS: Gatwick Airport to close North Terminal from April as a result of COVID-19

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Gatwick Airport has made the decision to close the North Terminal from the 1st April as their business continues to be affected by COVID-19 with a dramatic fall in airline traffic.

A statement said:

“The severe and unparalleled impact of COVID-19 on the global aviation sector has led Gatwick to make the difficult decision to consolidate passenger processing and facilities into the airport’s South Terminal and to limit scheduled flights on its runway to between 1400 and 2200, with effect from 1 April 2020.”

The airport said their operations will be consolidated into the South Terminal and the runway will remain open for emergency landings and diversions only outside these hours.

They expect the closure of the North Terminal to last a minimum of one month and they said the situation will be kept under regular review. 

The airport also said that the decision to scale back the airport’s operations has been discussed with the airport’s airline partners and any passengers booked on flights due to depart or arrive at Gatwick during this period are advised to contact their airline.

Stewart Wingate, Chief Executive, Gatwick Airport, said:

“Gatwick is a resilient but also responsible business and during these extraordinary times we need to take unprecedented measures to protect the health and wellbeing of our staff and passengers, while also shielding the business from the impact of Coronavirus. 

“I would also like to take this opportunity to thank my staff for their continuing hard work through this difficult time and to reassure them that we are taking these difficult decisions now, so that we are in a position to recover quickly and get back to generating jobs and economic benefits for the region and wider economy well into the future.  

“During these extraordinary times, we have also seen remarkable acts of kindness and community spirit in support of people who may need some additional help.  To add to this, we will also be providing some opportunities so that any of our staff, who have time during this period of reduced operations, that choose to, can help support people in our local communities.”

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