The public rightly has an expectation that they will be able to contact Kent Police when they need to in a variety of ways that work for them, whether that be to report an emergency, report a crime, seek advice, offer information, or express an opinion. When they do make that contact, they expect to receive a timely and appropriate response. The Force encourages individuals and diverse communities to engage and make contact with confidence, by making its services accessible, appropriate, easy to use and safe. It continues to effectively handle 999 and 101 calls, but also maintain other methods of contact, such as online and through personal interaction, to ensure it is open to all and can respond to user needs and situations. Communication is key and the Force recognises the importance of adapting and being flexible and developing modes of communication to suit all.
999 call totals:
Calls Not Answered
% Not Answered
Average Queuing Time
Average Talk Time
Over the reporting period, the attrition for emergency calls has remained in a relatively stable position, seeing some fluctuations, and peaking in October 2022. The current financial year call attrition is 1.33% which remains within the aspirational national benchmark of 2%. Call queuing times have also fluctuated since the previous reporting period with a waiting average of 19 seconds and talk time increasing slightly to an average of 5 minutes 1 second for the FY.
Overall, the volume of emergency calls continues to rise in line with national trend. Despite this, and due to the threat, risk and harm within these calls, the primary focus of the command is to respond to emergency calls, and despite October being a particularly challenging month, 999 call handling performance has remained stable, with all non-answered calls being recovered daily.
101 call totals:
Calls Not Answered
% Not Answered
Average Queuing Time
Average Talk Time
The volume of non-emergency 101 calls received during this period remains high but continues to decrease year on year. However, the totality of non-emergency contact demand is growing considerably when taking digital contact into account, which is not reflected in the 101 data.
The percentage of unanswered non-emergency calls remains challenging and saw significant peaks in October mirrored with spikes in 999 emergency calls, against a context of ongoing resourcing challenges. Recent months have seen an improvement in the 101 call handling performance though, with reductions in abandonment and time to answer. This is a combination of continued FCR recruitment and drafting in police officers to stabilise service delivery. The overall financial year to date position has improved slightly from 38.77% to 35.38% for non-emergency call attrition and call queuing times have decreased to 8m 7s.
Number of Digital Contacts into FCIR
Overall, digital demand into the FCIR has fluctuated over the past 6 months, peaking in October 2022. The continued provision of digital services is positive as it offers enhanced accessibility and choice for the public providing the ability to select and self-serve via a digital channel of their choice 24 hours a day providing an effective and customer focussed service. Our Digital demand is online crime reports and live chats. Within this demand, we monitor ASB as we recommend this is reported online, monitor DA Live chats (creating relevant CADS for attendance or RVR) and Missing juveniles that are missing after curfew. Emails from other forces are not included in these figures although do cause a significant amount of demand.
Online Crime Reporting (OCR):
Number of 'Report a Crime' Submissions
Online crime reporting peaked in October; this mirrors the fluctuations in digital contact. Again, this is a positive increase allowing channel choice as the most convenient time for victims of crime. New services have been made available, including Missing Persons, Rape/Sexual Assault reporting and Rural Crime. Kent Police have adopted all the main reporting services available in line with national strategy.
Live Chat totals:
Live Chat volumes
Live Chat is now well embedded as a contact choice and again continues to fluctuate monthly in terms of demand, peaking in October. Given that most operators are managing multiple chats at the same time, there are obvious efficiencies in service delivery, whilst providing an effective and customer-focussed quality service to the public at a time of their choosing through their preferred channel.
Investigation Management Unit (IMU)
IMU & Crime totals:
% of Total
Recorded crime peaked over July and is decreasing now. This is an average of 14,327 recorded crimes per month (over the past 6 months), an average decrease of 590 per month compared to the previous 6 months (Feb-22 to Jul-22). Cancelled crime remains stable overall with an average of 3.35% over the 6-month period, showing a minor reduction of 0.08%.
Current and Future State
In line with all forces nationally, 999 calls in Kent are continuing to increase. This is recognised by the NPCC lead, ACC Todd and by BT who are similarly challenged with meeting public demand, particularly at peak periods.
Emergency call handling remains the priority recognising the threat, harm and risk that sits within these calls.
Recruitment remains a challenge but joint work between the command and central HR is now delivering a sustained higher yield of new joiners. October saw a course of 28 new starters and 33 in December which has really assisted with the current vacancy rate. Recruitment continues at pace with further courses planned for 42 in February and May.
As planned, 33 police officers were posted into the command to assist with 101 calls and this, alongside FCIR recruitment has seen a reduction in abandonment and the time to answer. Work continues to finalise the strategic reserve of 100 officers who can assist the FCR, ideally through duty planning, to manage demand peaks.
A spectrum of retention options will be presented to Chief Officers to reinforce the drive on staff retention within the command. These include a review of remuneration as well as staff progression opportunities. This will complement the recruitment step-change that the force has noted over the last 6-9 months
The transformation programme will deliver a future operating model that seeks to respond to the current and future incoming demand in the FCIR as well as delivering demand reduction for the wider force. This is aligning to be part of the wider Force Strategic Change Programme with the current programme manager reporting to the Force Strategic Change Lead. Drawing a number of programmes together will allow a more integrated approach to deliver the strategic direction of the Chief Constable.
Work has been completed to scope the benefits of a desktop resolution function within the IMU. Initial review demonstrates the potential to reduce the amount of crime coming out for investigation to local policing by at least 30%. This work continues in order to support the frontline response.
Kent Police’s Crime Data Integrity compliance remains strong. A review was undertaken recently that shows this high compliance has been achieved through rigorous application of current standards and did not identify over-recording of crime. The IMU have contributed to the national review being undertaken to simplify and streamline the Home Office counting rules.