Column: Police failure to turn up to 999 or 101 calls is alarming

PUBLISHED: 10:28 21 September 2017 | UPDATED: 18:08 22 September 2017

Met Police delayed 999 response. Picture: MET POLICE

Met Police delayed 999 response. Picture: MET POLICE


London’s policing service is being destroyed and Londoners must come to terms with what is happening.

Jessica Learmond-Criqui is calling for controls over police budgets to be taken away from government following a rise in moped-enabled crimes. Jessica Learmond-Criqui is calling for controls over police budgets to be taken away from government following a rise in moped-enabled crimes.

London’s policing service is being destroyed and Londoners must come to terms with what is happening.

Policing is an invisible resource – you don’t want to know about it until you need it. But increasingly today, if you need them, they may not be there.

This is NOT an attack on the dedication of serving police men and women for the reasons below.

For the first time in 13+ years of being involved in safer neighbourhood policing, I am receiving regular reports of police failing to turn up to 999 calls and of 101 calls not being responded to.

This is a symptom of the ongoing degradation of the Met which started with the £500m cut in funding four years ago by Boris Johnson and which continues today with an additional £400m under Mayor Khan.

The Met’s budget four years ago was £2.2bn so its budget is effectively being cut in half.

I will speak to what is happening in Camden, but anticipate that the picture is the same across London.

Anti-social behaviour and crime, including terrorist events, are on the rise across the capital, moped crime is out of control, there is a backlog of 999 calls, calls to 101 are left waiting for half to one hour for their calls to be answered, the response teams are run ragged responding and investigating crime resulting in a poor service to victims who have to wait longer for attention and the fear of crime is increasing.

The Met have taken a hard look at their offer and decided to reduce face to face meetings, not respond to certain crimes, require victims to find their own CCTV evidence and witnesses and to write their own statements, close cases with little or no evidence (reported case closures run at about 35% and there is an internal recommendation that case closures should increase to 79%) and increase their target to reach 999 calls from 10 mins to 15 mins.

The failed merger of the 3 boroughs in the East has not deterred the Met from pushing through the equally unsuccessful merger of Camden and Islington to achieve savings.

Mayor Khan, Amber Rudd and Theresa May, effectively the decision makers, are failing Londoners who deserve to understand the impact of underfunding on their future safety.

The government refuse to fund the Met properly and Mayor Khan is finger wagging in some frustration.

The government deserves the finger but the Mayor can do more, such as asking Londoners by referendum to pay more for proper policing.

He has not done so, while victim after victim mount up and people suffer under the yolk of increased crime and anti-social behaviour.

The Met are gagged about underfunding difficulties, so it therefore falls to us, the public, to fight to be served and protected by a properly funded police force.

Forget Brexit – that is still 18 months away. The policing crisis is now and the thin blue line is emaciated and on its knees. This is a dangerous situation – the Met needs £1bn of funds immediately.

If Londoners do not rise up to demand more for the police, then when the next riot occurs or major terrorist event takes place which the Met cannot properly police while protecting our neighbourhoods, we will all suffer the consequences of the degradation of the service which is past its tipping point.

Latest Hampstead & Highgate News Stories

Yesterday, 17:45

Neighbours and community groups have raised concerns over the sale of former Branch Hill House care home in Hampstead.

Yesterday, 14:44

The senior coroner for inner north London Mary Hassell is set to hold a public consultation into the new policy for how she should deal with deaths in the area, but has only given people a matter of days to send in written submissions.

Yesterday, 14:15

Camden Council has served the developers of the Leighton Arms pub in Kentish Town with an enforcement notice demanding that the pub’s conversion into a Nisa supermarket is halted and recent changes to the building are reversed.

Yesterday, 09:13

A judicial review bid by Westminster City Council against the CS11 cycle superhighway has been slammed as “petty political posturing”, as its future hangs in the balance.

Yesterday, 08:43

A Hampstead man has been charged with murder over the killing of Edmond Jonuzi outside Turnpike Lane tube station, in Haringey.

Mon, 16:40

A half-acre plot of Hampstead Heath was sold to a private buyer for £154,000 in an auction today, adding fuel to conservationists’ fears that it could be developed

Mon, 14:47

Theresa May paid tribute to the founding principles of Hampstead’s Royal Free Hospital, as she launched her £20.5 billion-a-year decade long plan for the health service this morning.

Mon, 12:08

The new police chief for Islington and Camden has already launched a taskforce to tackle violence – and said significant reductions are being made in moped crime.


Londoners seeking high quality houses for sale within easy commuting distance of the capital are being advised to look north to St Albans’ prestigious Gabriel Square development.

Wembley Sailing Club is hosting a Push the Boat Out event on Sunday May 20, where those interested in taking up the sport are invited to experience the club in action.

Preparing your child in advance for school will go a long way towards ensuring the very best start for your child.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read Hampstead & Highgate news

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now