A police chief has sought to reassure residents, after data published by the Mayor revealed response times to emergency calls in Kingston were the worst in the capital.

An article in the Comet yesterday revealed the average response time in Kingston to calls graded as needing an immediate response in September was 22 minutes and 15 seconds.

Kingston consistently failed to meet its target response time to emergency calls graded “i” in June, July, August and September, the data revealed.

BCU Commander Sally Benatar said: “We are taking a number of steps to reduce response times in the face of increasing operational demand across the four boroughs.

“One of these steps is to reduce the demand on response officers by diverting calls that don’t need a face to face response to our Local Resolution Team or Telephone and Digital Investigation Unit, whilst ensuring that the most appropriate response is provided to each caller according to their needs and the level of risk.

“Another is to make sure the closest vehicle available is despatched to the call through improved command and control.”

She added: “I expect my response officers to arrive at incidents safely, and as promptly as possible, and to provide an excellent service to the public when they do arrive.

“I am proud of the service they provide and the way they deal with whatever they are faced with, with bravery and compassion.

“I am confident that the response times for Kingston and Richmond will improve with the internal measures I am taking.”