Disclosure Details

Calls To 101 - 871/12

Dated: 31 Jul 2015

Date of request:   05/11/2012

Date of response:   27/11/2012

Provision of information held by Northumbria Police made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the 'Act')(FOIA)

Thank you for your email dated 5 November 2012 in which you made a request for access to certain information which may be held by Northumbria Police.

As you may be aware the purpose of the Act is to allow a general right of access to information held by a Public Authority (including the Police), subject to certain limitations and exemptions.

You asked: 

For each month since the force introduced the 101 phone number to 31 October 2012 please state:- 

a) The number of calls answered? 
b) The number of calls answered within 30 seconds? 
c) The number of calls answered within 30 to 60 seconds? 
d) The number of calls answered within 60 to 90 seconds? 
e) The number of calls answered within 90 to 120 seconds? 
f) The number of calls answered over 120 seconds? 
g) The number of dropped calls (e.g. where the caller has abandoned the call whilst waiting for it to be answered)? 
h) The average wait for a call to be answered? 
i) The longest wait for a call to be answered?

Please provide a breakdown of the figures per month for each sections of this question.

In response:

Following receipt of your request, searches were conducted with the Communications Department of Northumbria Police.  I can confirm that the information you have requested is held, in part, by Northumbria Police.

I have decided to disclose the located information to you as follows.

Northumbria Police use an automatic call distribution system.  All calls are in a single queue but some call types are automatically given a higher priority, '999' calls being the obvious example.  The system will automatically deliver the longest waiting/highest priority call to the first available call taker.  The call is delivered to their handset automatically.

During very busy periods, we can experience more calls arriving than we have available staff to answer them.  Calls will continue to queue until such time as a handler becomes free.

Non-emergency calls can be overtaken in the queue when an emergency call arrives.  This means that, at busy times, non-emergency calls can be waiting a little longer than emergency calls.  This may result in the call being terminated by the caller and not 'unanswered' by members of staff.

You may be interested to know that currently our average answer time for 999 calls is 4 seconds and our average answer time for non-emergency calls is 7 seconds.

As advised earlier we are unable to distinguish between 101 and the other non-emergency numbers.  You confirmed that you were happy to receive the requested information with regards to all non-emergency calls including 101 calls.

Please note the anomaly of the maximum wait time in June 2012.  During that period there were some issues in respect of some calls, for which the data capture became 'stuck'.  The effect was that we appeared to have some calls stuck and unanswered, however this was purely a data issue and this did not affect the callers. This was a fault was repaired at the time.

With the above in mind please see the below:-

  a b c d g h i
2012 Total 
30 secs
31-60 secs
61 secs 
& over


Jan 26,801 26,148 297 324 149 00:00:05 00:06:12
Feb 26,937 26,085 457 349 162 00:00:05 00:04:54
Mar 31,147 29,844 541 399 209 00:00:04 00:04:16
Apr 26,643 25,864 346 319 73 00:00:02 00:05:12
May 29,844 28,483 682 534 152 00:00:03 00:06:42
Jun 30,083 27,739 736 1,060 688 00:00:11 00:39:25
Jul 31,873 30,260 860 669 273 00:00:07 00:08:46
Aug 31,780 29,721 1,039 818 312 00:00:08 00:05:18
Sept 31,492 27,523 1,623 1,904 665 00:00:16 00:12:19
Oct 30,747 27,283 1,425 1,698 509 00:00:13 00:07:48

e&f.  No information held.  This information is not recorded.

If you decide to write an article/use the enclosed data we would expect that you to take into consideration the factors highlighted above so as to not mislead members of the public or official bodies or misrepresent the relevance of the whole or any part of this disclosed material. 

You may be interested to know that Northumbria Police routinely publish information that has been disclosed by Northumbria Police in response to requests made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 via the Disclosure Log.  The aim of the Disclosure Log is to promote openness and transparency by voluntarily placing information into the public arena.

Whilst it is not possible to publish all responses we will endeavour to publish those where we feel that the information disclosed is in the public interest.  The Disclosure Log will be updated once responses have been sent to the requester.  I have provided the relevant link below:-


The information we have supplied to you is likely to contain intellectual property rights of Northumbria Police.  Your use of the information must be strictly in accordance with the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 (as amended) or such other applicable legislation.  In particular, you must not re-use this information for any commercial purpose.

How to complain

If you are unhappy with our decision or do not consider that we have handled your request properly and we are unable to resolve this issue informally, you are entitled to make a formal complaint to us underour complaints procedure which can be found at:http://www.northumbria.police.uk/foi/disclosurelog/foicomprights.asp

If you are still unhappy after we have investigated your complaint and reported to you the outcome, you may complain directly to the Information Commissioner’s Office and request that they investigate to ascertain whether we have dealt with your request in accordance with the Act. 


FOI Complaint Rights Procedure_tcm4-67103