Annual figures have revealed that last year police communications centres received the highest number of emergency calls, while achieving the highest annual service levels, since data started being recorded in its current form in 2001.
The total number of emergency calls offered for all three centres in 2006 was 628,640, with service levels for the year at 91 per cent - meaning 91 per cent of calls were answered within 10 seconds (the rest of the calls were answered within 11 - 60 seconds).
This compares with 405,858 emergency calls in 2001, when the service level was 86 per cent.
The world standard is that 90 per cent of emergency calls should be answered within 10 seconds.
Communications Centres Acting National Manager Superintendent Allan Boreham puts the increase in calls down to a growing population and more people owning and using cellphones.
"Now that just about everyone has a cellphone, people are more able to call police on the spot when an incident is happening," Superintendent Boreham says. "And it's a real credit to the improvements we've made in our centres that with the volume of calls we received last year, we were also able to achieve the highest service levels ever recorded."
Mr Boreham says emergency calls are increasing worldwide.
"The rise in the number of calls received in the Communications Centres isn't just a New Zealand phenomenon. Police services internationally are experiencing similar increases and the trend is predicted to continue."
For more information contact
Leanne Frisbie 0272 236 743