Mounted police called in to man the phones

Click to follow
The Independent Online
First Edition

THE POLICE force named as having Britain's worst crime detection rate has been forced to draft in officers from its motorcycle and horse sections to work as telephonists, answering calls from the public.

The move by the Humberside police force means there will be no motorcycle patrols or mounted police on duty throughout the county.

Only 16per cent of crimes in Humberside were solved by the police last year. Senior officers said this latest measure was taken because the force had been swamped with telephone calls, delaying response times to incidents.

But while the patrolmen are answering calls, about 160,000 worth of police motorcycles will be standing idle.

The motorcycle section's duties will be covered by patrol cars. But police have no cover for the mounted section, and officers will have to put down their telephones and get back in the saddle, if a major incident takes place.

A spokesman for Humberside Police said: 'This is a short-term response to the growing number of telephone calls we are receiving. It will be reviewed in seven days.'

The force's 12 telephonists are fielding up to 3,000 calls a day. Senior officers have recently urged the Government to let them recruit more officers.