Lincolnshire 999 call staff suspended over data manipulation claims

G4S logo Image copyright David Jones
Image caption G4S took over the running of backroom police services in Lincolnshire in 2012

Five 999 control room staff have been suspended amid claims workers made emergency calls at "quiet times" in a bid to improve call answering data.

Lincolnshire Police began an investigation after the allegations first came to light in January.

G4S took over the running of backroom services for the force as part of a £200m deal in 2012.

The workers are being investigated and are due be interviewed by G4S and Lincolnshire Police.

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Police said the staff involved are all former Lincolnshire Police employees who transferred to G4S four years ago.

G4S will deal with the matter under company disciplinary procedures after it was determined there was no basis for a criminal prosecution.

'Performance targets'

The company aims to answer 92% of all 999 calls within 10 seconds, and the firm is subject to financial penalties if performance targets are not achieved.

John Shaw, a G4S director, said: "While I can reassure the public that at no stage did the actions of these people put the public or police colleagues at risk, I am nevertheless dismayed that this group of staff sought to influence important performance measurements.

"There is no place for anyone in our organisation who behaves in this way."

The Independent Police Complaints Commission has been informed, and is assisting with the investigation.

G4S previously said it had exceeded its targets for 999 call answering.

The firm has been at the centre of several controversies.

In January, it sacked four of its staff following a BBC Panorama programme which exposed the alleged abuse of inmates at a young offenders' institution in Kent.

It was also stripped of responsibility for tagging criminals in the UK following allegations they charged the government for tagging people who were either dead or in jail.

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