Bedfordshire Police had the slowest 999 call response time in the UK last year, according to a new study.

Personal injury experts at have gathered data on the average time it took for a call to be transferred to each police force in the UK from March 2023 to February 2024.

Bedfordshire Police was the slowest, taking an average 30.33 seconds, with the second slowest force - Wiltshire Police - averaging 19.69 seconds.

One 999 call to Bedfordshire Police in June last year took 61.34 seconds to answer.

Meanwhile, Lincolnshire Police had the fastest call response time in the UK, averaging seven seconds.

A spokesperson for said: "The time it takes for the police to respond to a 999 call is crucial – the longer the caller waits, the higher the risk of harm and danger to the individual."

He said the slowest response times "suggest understaffing", indicating that "these areas perhaps need more funding".

Superintendent Graham Bates, head of public contact at Bedfordshire Police, said: "Our current average wait time is four seconds, with more than 94% of 999 calls being answered within 10 seconds last month. This is a marked improvement from last summer, when we faced unprecedented demand.

"We are committed to making sure we are available for the people who really need us.

"Over the past year, we have increased staffing levels in our force control room, which has enhanced the service we deliver.

"We also continuously look for ways to improve our systems and processes to meet the evolving needs of our communities.

"However, we still need the public’s help in preventing our emergency lines from becoming overwhelmed.

"999 is for when there is a risk to life or safety, or a crime is in progress. In all other cases, we have alternative avenues for reporting, such as our 101 non-emergency line and online services.

"By taking a moment to assess whether a situation is an emergency, callers can help us keep our 999 lines open for anyone in immediate danger or requiring urgent assistance, enabling us to provide an efficient and effective response to those who need it most."