Councillors in a village near Bath have launched a new campaign calling on Avon & Somerset Police to improve their 101 response times.
Peasedown St John’s independent councillors, Gavin Heathcote and Karen Walker, say the current service ‘isn’t good enough’ as people wanting to report non-emergency incidents sometimes have to wait significant amounts of time for their calls to be answered.
The pair were recently invited to Portishead to meet staff and call handlers at Avon & Somerset Police’s Command and Control Room.
The centre has around 200 operators responding to more than 2,600 calls every day, with 999 emergency incidents and 101 inquiries for the whole county being directed there.
Cllr Gavin Heathcote said: “We’re working closely with the police to see what can be done to speed up response times to 101 calls.
“Just recently I needed to report an incident in Peasedown St John, only to be faced with a 1-hour wait for somebody to even pick up the ‘phone.
“This simply isn’t good enough – members of the public expect a much swifter response from the local police, even to non-emergency inquiries.”
Gavin and Karen met with Becky Tipper, Head of Command and Control at Avon & Somerset Police, where they were able to share concerns about the force’s response times.
Cllr Karen Walker added: “Thanks to Becky and her team for allowing us to visit the control centre. We were able to meet some of the operators and hear some of the calls coming into the police incident room from the public.
“We’ll be working closely with Avon & Somerset Police over the coming months to address issues raised with us by our residents.”