Information uncovered by the London Liberal Democrats has shown that not one of the Met’s Basic Command Units (BCUs) in London met the target response time for S-grade 999 calls – such as road traffic collisions, hate crimes, anti-social behaviour and burglaries – in the past three months.
The target response time for S-grade calls is 60 minutes. But between December 2022 and February 2023, not a single Basic Command Unit had an average response time of below 1 hour 15 minutes, with the average response time being 2 hours 2 minutes
In three BCUs: West (Ealing, Hounslow & Hillingdon), South West (Wandsworth, Merton, Kingston & Richmond) and North West (Barnet, Brent & Harrow), the average response time for S-grade calls was over 2 hours.
In two BCUs: East (Redbridge, Havering & Barking and Dagenham) and North East (Newham & Waltham Forest), it was over 3 hours, with the wait time in East BCU during December 2022 reaching an extortionate 4 hours 42 minutes.
Commenting, London Liberal Democrat Assembly Member and Police and Crime Spokesperson Caroline Pidgeon AM said:
“These figures on S-grade call response times are really quite shocking and many Londoners will find them deeply unsettling.
“It shows us that not only are target times being missed, but in the vast majority of boroughs they are nowhere close to being hit.
“The fact that someone in East London who has experienced a burglary or hate crime may have to wait almost 5 hours for a response just isn’t acceptable.
“In 2018 Sadiq Khan conceded that there were ‘some specific response times problems related to the rollout of the New Basic Command Units’, however here we are five years later and every single BCU is missing S Grade target times, most of them by a country mile.
“It is quite clear that we need a return to proper community policing with more borough-based officers and response teams to help Londoners when they need them most.”