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Police are taking longer to answer 111 calls in what’s a worrying trend, National’s Police spokesperson Chris Bishop says. 

“Police have a target to answer 90 per cent of 111 calls within 10 seconds. In its annual report, Police reported answering 79 per cent of calls within 10 seconds, down from 84 per cent the previous year. 

“This is a vital service and it’s important that Police response times are tracking up and not down.

“It would be more understandable if there had been a large increase in calls to the emergency centre, but that’s not the case.

“The National Government announced in February 2017 that we would introduce a Single Non-Emergency Number to take pressure off the 111 centre. We were on track to have that in place now but this Government has pushed that deadline back until next year.

“The Police also have a target of 83 per cent public satisfaction for response time for incidents and emergencies but only 69 per cent were satisfied with the speed of the Police response.

“The Government claims that it’s prioritising Police and yet it’s behind on recruiting its promised 1,800 new sworn police officers and standards are slipping.

“Police Minister Stuart Nash needs to show better leadership and ensure that the additional funding for Police is being spent wisely so public safety is improved.”

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