Hackney sergeant praises ‘hard work of officers’ for 2015 response figures

Sgt Alex Bloxham believes response figures can be kept up in 2016. PA images.

Sgt Alex Bloxham believes response figures can be kept up in 2016. PA images. - Credit: PA Images

A police response team in Hackney managed to respond to 92 per cent of its most critical calls within 15 minutes despite swinging cuts to officers on our streets in the past five years.

Sergeant Alex Bloxham

Sergeant Alex Bloxham - Credit: Archant

The figures for 2015 were collated in a first of its kind operation by Sergeant Alex Bloxham who looks after one response team in Hackney.

In the whole of 2015, emergency response team A, otherwise known as GDERTA, answered 3495 immediate calls and 5213 significant calls, making 863 arrests and filing 4000 crime reports and 500 intel reports.

The borough has five emergency response units (A-E) that provide cover responding to 999/101 calls.

An immediate call is defined as one that poses a real risk to a person or property or a crime where the suspect is still at the scene and police need to get there very quickly and preserve any evidence.

The response team managed to respond to 92 per cent of immediate calls within the first 15 minutes and 84 per cent of significant calls within the first hour despite a 22 per cent reduction in the amount of officers.

Last October, Hackney Council campaigned to have 100 police officers returned after seeing numbers cut from 770 to 597 in the space of five years.

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Sgt Bloxham said the number of officers varies depending on the shift but on average there will be 26 officers on the streets per team.

He added: “Supervisors of the teams try to best manage resources by looking at where the calls are coming in from and the risk involved in them.

“It’s their job to see if officers need to attend immediately or if we can pass investigations onto the neighbourhood teams to follow up in the next day or week.”

Sgt Bloxham decided to look the figures himself as he was interested to see what the data looked like for his team as nothing on this scale has been done before.

The Stamford Hill and Woodberry Down sergeant also notes the importance of briefing meetings and dialogue with community as useful tools in crime prevention.

He added: “Briefing meeting before patrols are important as it highlights people or incidents of note.

“We will also use predictive mapping to identity where particular crimes are taking place.”

Sgt Bloxham also feels like the impressive response rates of teams in Hackney should be no different in 2016.

He said: “There is absolutely no reason why we can’t keep up these percentages; we can definitely achieve the same statistics thanks to the hard work of the officers.

“They give a lot to the job, more than the job can give back to them.

“By officers staying late and volunteering their time to go different things then we can make sure to keep on top of calls.”