Most emergency police incidents in South Yorkshire are reached 'within 15 minutes'

Police have improved their emergency response times across South Yorkshire - with most incidents reached ‘within 15 minutes’ - but further time reductions are now unlikely.

Thursday, 19th December 2019, 11:45 am

Sheffield, Doncaster, Rotherham and Barnsley's district commanders have been focused on getting officers to improve the speed at which they reach critical incidents and each have achieved success.

But Deputy Chief Constable Mark Roberts said while the current performance was sustainable, he did not believe significant further reductions could be achieved.

Addressing Police and Crime Commissioner Dr Alan Billings at a meeting of his Public Accountability Board, Det Chf Con Roberts said: "Can we get it even lower? Probably not.

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Emergency response times have been reduced, with most incidents being reached 'within 15 minutes'

"Each of the districts has made significant improvements in terms of responses. Typically, we are hitting it within 15 minutes.

"It is not about officers driving faster. It is about have more resources freer, making better use of mobile technlology, understand where big demand is.

"In terms of sustainability? Yes. In terms of taking it lower, I think we have hit the most efficient level."

When a 999 call is answered, police need time to mobilise officers and get them to the incident, meaning a delay of some sort is inevitable.

Det Chf Con Roberts was speaking after new figures revealed the average waiting time in Barnsley has been halved in the space of a year, from 30 minutes last November to 15 minutes currently.

The current approach was 'smarter rather than faster' he said.

Performance in responding to 'priority' incidents, which need prompt attention but not in the same bracket as those needing an urgent reaction has also improved.

In April this year, the average wait for officers was an hour and 33 minutes in the Barnsley district. By October that was down to 33 minutes.

At the previous Police Accountability Board meeting, Dr Billings also heard of improvements in response times in the neighbouring Rotherham district, with changes to working practises introduced in that area being considered as 'best practice' which could be rolled out across the force.