For many businesses, an assumption of their safety and security protocols is that an emergency response will be the most serious step. For fires, serious incidents or medical emergencies, the expectation is that the emergency services will be available to help you deal with the incident.

However, one thing that you may not have considered is the average response times to emergency calls. These may impact your safety and security procedures for your business, as you may not be able to rely upon a quick emergency services response to every issue, especially if it’s classed as less serious.

So, in this article, we’re going to cover what the police response times actually are and what it could mean for the safety strategy in your business.

What are the average police response times?

The response times will vary depending on your local force, but for this article we’re using the London Metropolitan figures from 2019. The pandemic has had a sizeable impact on response figures, but recent data has not yet been made available.

In 2019, the Met police’s average response times for three grades were:

  • Immediate threat to life or property: 15 mins
  • Serious threat: 1 hour 27 mins
  • Non-urgent: 11 hours 33 mins (can be as high as 48 hours)

So, while the response times for serious incidents were very quick, only 15 minutes, the response times for even serious threats were on average an hour and a half.

What does this mean for your safety strategy?

Well, the first thing to bear in mind is that the data shows that for very serious threats, the police response is very quick and in-line with their targets. This is obviously reassuring for those businesses where a police response is their final port of call for serious issues, as it means that you should be able to get a speedy response should you need one.

However, the more worrying statistics are in the responses to lower grade emergencies. A response time of one and a half hours for a “serious threat” means you could be waiting a long time for a response, and with non-urgent calls sometimes waiting as long as 48 hours, you may not be able to rely on a police response for every issue that might crop up on your premises.

Building your own safety and security procedures

What this means for many businesses, even small ones where the plan is that any issues can be pushed on to emergency services, is that having your own safety procedures is a very important part of keeping your staff protected at work.

This could mean investing in training on de-escalation and support for vulnerable patients or customers, investing in site safety like gated access or security cameras, or even panic alarms or other security features for your office. After all, it’s better to have plans in place that aren’t needed than simply to reply on an emergency service response should any issue ever arise.

Little Green Button could help you with your building’s security. Our software-based panic alarm system is the perfect solution for those looking to add a lightweight, easy to use security solution to their building. It allows your own staff quick access to help from anybody who’s connected to the system, without having to wait for external responses.

Find out more about the Little Green Button software here.