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During a three month investigation the Bureau sent out a series of Freedom of Information requests to the 43 police forces in England and Wales.
The resulting data was collated and analysed to build a picture of how some key police services have changed since 2010, when the police were told to reduce their budgets by 20%.
The Bureau found:
- Forces being affected in different ways by the cuts
- Just under a third of the police forces that collect response time information confirmed they reacted more slowly to emergency calls in 2012 than they did in 2010. This jumped to 57% when rates in 2011 are compared to those in 2012
- Some police force 999 emergency response times have increased by over 15%, with one force recording an increase of 30%
- Five police forces have changed their target times since 2010, giving themselves more time to respond to 999 call-outs
- A 23% increase between 2010 and 2012 in the number of calls not answered by the closest police force, but instead being bounced on to a neighbouring force
Police forces across England and Wales have experienced the cuts differently, with variations in local taxation and previous budget restraints meaning some have felt the pinch harder than others.
Indeed, some forces, such as Cumbria have improved their records, reducing their 999 emergency response times between 2010 and 2012.
The data can be seen here:
Get the data: 999 response times