Police and Crime Commissioner Tony Hogg has ring-fenced up to £250,000 to improve the ‘unacceptable’ service.

The Police and Crime Commissioner for Devon and Cornwall has committed funds to improve the ‘unacceptable’ 101 service.

Tony Hogg has ring-fenced up to £250,000 for the chief constable to make immediate improvements to the non-emergency phoneline.

An ongoing report being carried out into the 101 service has found the average call waiting time to the 101 number has almost doubled to more than eight minutes.

The percentage of callers waiting for more than 10 minutes for call resolution has more than doubled from 13 per cent to 32 per cent.

Mr Hogg said: “This report demonstrates a poor state of affairs.

“Performance appears to have worsened rather than improved in this important area.

“At a time when we have been reducing some face to face contact though the closure of public enquiries offices, it is vital that our phone contact system is fit for purpose - it is not.

“There is a lack of police management focus in this area and that needs to change.

“The inability to implement important technology upgrades remains a barrier to performance improvements and is immensely frustrating.”

Mr Hogg praised staff in the control room for their hard work, but blamed high pressure and poor technology for the service’s problems.

He added: “Over twelve months ago, I committed to a marked improvement in public call handling.

“This has not happened and it is unacceptable.

“I am therefore making £250,000 available to the chief constable to put in place immediate improvements.

“I expect to see a significant drop in the number of callers having to wait for more than 10 minutes over the next few months.

“I intend to review this figure before I leave office in May of this year.”