Norfolk police has fallen short of 999 response time targets but answers more than eight in 10 emergency calls within 10 seconds.

Home Office data giving the time it takes each police force in the UK to answer 999 calls has been published for the first time, shows Norfolk response times were fifth out of 43 forces nationally and best in the eastern region.

Eastern Daily Press: Norfolk police contact and control room at WymondhamNorfolk police contact and control room at Wymondham (Image: Norfolk Constabulary)

Avon and Somerset Police was the only force to meet the national target to answer 90pc emergency calls in less than 10 seconds.

But in Norfolk 84pc of 999 calls were answered within 10 seconds and a further 15.5pc were answered between 10 and 60 seconds.

Deputy chief constable Simon Megicks said: “We believe that the constabulary offers one of the highest levels of 999 service in the country, something we are very proud of and continue to work hard at improving the service further.

Eastern Daily Press: Assistant Chief Constable Simon MegicksAssistant Chief Constable Simon Megicks (Image: Suffolk Constabulary)

“Within our control room we have been conducting a modernisation programme which is planned to take four years and a number of key changes are still to take place that will improve service further.”

He said additional control room staffing, new technology and a review shift patterns had been undertaken.

Giles Orpen-Smellie, police and crime commissioner for Norfolk, said: “I am pleased to see that Norfolk Constabulary is performing well, with one of the best response times in the country over the last six months.

Eastern Daily Press: Norfolk police and crime commissioner Giles Orpen-SmellieNorfolk police and crime commissioner Giles Orpen-Smellie (Image: Newsquest)

“The constabulary has been able to invest in its control room and emergency response through previous council tax precept increases and we can see this investment has been a positive move.”

In neighbouring forces, Suffolk police answered 81pc of calls within 10 seconds while in Cambridgeshire it was just 72pc.

A public consultation on 999 and 101 services is currently underway including looking at newer methods of contact such as social media and web chat.

Norfolk police has previously admitted tens of thousands of calls to the non-emergency 101 number went unanswered as they were forced to prioritise increasing calls to 999.

Eastern Daily Press: Norfolk is among best for 999 response time targetsNorfolk is among best for 999 response time targets (Image: Archant)

Mr Orpen-Smellie said separate data on how quickly officers attended emergencies showed in the last 12 months, in urban areas Norfolk met its target of attending 90pc within 15 minutes. In rural areas, the target had been met 85pc of the time.

“These figures show the force is performing well against targets, but there will always be more to do, and we must not be complacent,” he added.