ONE in five people calling the non-emergency police hotline in Wiltshire give up after being placed in a queue, the latest figures show.

A new report has revealed that around 100 calls a day to the 101 service in Wiltshire are abandoned due to waiting times.

To tackle the problem, police and crime commissioner Angus Macpherson has announced a £250,000 investment to boost the number of staff at its call centre, which was welcomed by government inspectors.

The figures emerged in the latest police effectiveness, efficiency and legitimacy report.

Mr Macpherson said: “Quite rightly the report notes that ‘there are sometimes delays in answering non-emergency calls to the Force control room’ and that this is an area for improvement.

“I have agreed with Chief Constable Mike Veale that £250,000 should be invested to increase the number of staff in the crime and communications centre to address the issue of people calling 101 hanging up whilst held in a queue.

“I am pleased to say that the position has improved since the inspection was carried out. I will continue to keep a focus on the situation because efficient answering of 101 calls is, as the inspectors note, ‘integral to providing a quality service to the public’.

Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Service (HMICFS) also highlighted that the force was experiencing difficulties in accessing records to determine the current skills of officers and staff to be able plan its workforce.

However, the HMICFS has rated the force ‘good’ in understanding demand, how it uses its resources and at planning for the future overall.

Inspectors praised Wiltshire Police’s continuous improvement to provide better services for the public, and its recognition to get the very best out of leaders and other staff members with an ever-decreasing budget.

Assistant Chief Constable Kier Pritchard said: “Keeping people safe and reducing crime are at the very heart of what we set out to do every single day so to be recognised as achieving this is brilliant.

“The findings of this report are testament to the dedication, commitment and spirit of our entire workforce – each day our officers and staff go above and beyond to make Wiltshire one of the safest places to live.

“Of course, we are not complacent and are continually assessing our processes and policies to better shape the force to continue providing our communities with the best possible service.”