Diverted 999 call creates two-hour police delay

A police response to an emergency call was delayed two hours after it was diverted through to the wrong force control room, a Lancashire MP has said.

West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper said a Halsall resident called 999 from a mobile phone to report a crime as it was taking place on 29 November.

The call was diverted to Merseyside control rather than Lancashire, which did not immediately respond.

A spokesman for both forces apologised for the "unacceptable" delay.

Labour's Ms Cooper said the call was transferred to the wrong force due to Halsall being on the border with Merseyside.

She said the situation was made worse by Lancashire Police failing to send an officer in response to the emergency call they received via Merseyside Police.

Only when the resident located a different number to call Lancashire Police did they reach the correct control room 25 minutes later.

'Feel safe'

From the initial call it took two hours for a police officer to respond to the emergency call.

Ms Cooper said: "Whilst I appreciate our police forces are under pressure there are no excuses for this situation when information about criminal activity in progress is not being acted upon, immediately leaving residents unprotected."

A police spokesman said the service "fell below the standards we expect and which we set ourselves".

"The vast majority of calls for service are responded to promptly and appropriately, either by deploying resources or dealing with the matter over the telephone," he added.

"We accept the delay was unacceptable and feedback has been given to the staff member concerned.

"Once patrols arrived at scene the offender was detained."

He added they are working with BT to enable callers to direct which police control room should take calls.

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