A survey by the Liberal Democrats has found that 53% of people who called 101 – the non-emergency Police phone number – gave up before speaking to the Police.
Most people who did get through waited for more than five minutes, with some waiting for 30 minutes or more for the call to be answered.
The scale of the problem was uncovered by Claire Halliwell, Stockport Liberal Democrat spokesperson on crime.
“Thousands of crimes are going unrecorded and people are wasting hours sitting on the phone. It also means the Police are missing half the picture on crime. Important intelligence is being missed, meaning the Police may not be targeting their efforts efficiently,” said Claire.
Helen Foster-Grime, Lib Dem communities spokesperson, emphasised concern about the affect this is having on victims of crime when they are at their most vulnerable.
“The Conservative government must take the blame for ill-advised cuts to police funding since 2015. Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham has responsibility for how the police budget is spent and we will be writing to urge him to sort this out. Cutting funding for the 101 number is a false economy,” said Helen.