Disclosure Details

Non-Emergency Calls - 928/12

Dated: 31 Jul 2015

Date of request:   24/11/2012

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 24 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: 

I would like to make a freedom of information request regarding the amount of non-emergency calls that went unanswered.

Could you please tell me the amount of calls received in total to the nearest possible date to today in 2012 and the amount which were unanswered.

Can I also have the information of how many were received and unanswered in 2011.

Could I also have the same information as above for 2010.

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 by Northumbria Police.

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

The information provided is up to and including 25 November 2012.

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.

With the above in mind, please see the below information which answers this request.

  Received Terminated
2012 321,311 3,357
2011 331,187 3,306
2010 343,615 2,696

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.

Due to the different methods of recording information across 43 forces, a specific response from one constabulary should not be seen as an indication of what information could be supplied (within cost) by another.  Systems used for recording these figures are not generic, nor are the procedures used locally in capturing the data.  For this reason responses between forces may differ, and should not be used for comparative purposes.

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