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Nine in 10 999 calls made to West Midlands Police are now being answered within 10 seconds, Police and Crime Commissioner Simon Foster has revealed.

It marks a significant improvement in service, after the force was ranked lowest in the country for answering emergency calls just last year. It now sits in second place in the national league tables.

The PCC said building trust and confidence in the force was one of his top priorities and welcomed the upturn in performance – which has also been echoed by significant improvements in the 101 line.

He said: “If people do not have trust and confidence in policing, it will not be possible to deliver an effective and efficient police service.

“For far too long and far too often, despite the hard work of police officers and staff, West Midlands Police was not complying with either its own Citizens Charter or the required service level agreements, in relation to the service provided by force contact and in particular, the answering of 999 and 101 calls.

“However, as a consequence of the Force Contact Optimisation Project, investment and innovation, hard work on the part of officers and staff and the oversight and scrutiny that I have been providing, there has been a significant improvement in performance.”

Currently the force aims to answer 90 per cent of 999 calls within 10 seconds – a national standard. In May 2022, WMP only answered 47 per cent of calls within this timeframe, with an average answer time of 42 seconds. In the same month, 8.4 per cent of 999 calls were abandoned.

Since April 2023, the force has met the required national standard, with average answering rates between four and eight seconds, while only 0.1 per cent of 999 calls are abandoned.

Answering 101 calls has also improved from an average of 10 minutes to 90 seconds, between March 2023 and July 2023.

The PCC added that he will continue to hold West Midlands Police to account over the issue, saying: “This will ensure the force continues to drive improvement, both in relation to force contact calls for service and force response to incidents, to ensure that it complies with service level agreements and delivers a service that the people of the West Midlands are entitled to.”

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