'SHODDY and unreliable' was a complaint about call handling performance by North Yorkshire police last year. Over the summer there were reports of some101 callers left hanging on for up to 30 minutes and nearly 35 per cent of calls in July were abandoned. Even the 999 response was struggling as the Force Control Room was swamped.

Part of the issue of course Spectator understands is the soaring number of calls, up 12 per cent across the country. In North Yorkshire between April 2016 and the same month this year 999 calls increased from 4,992 to 6,307. Non emergency ones soared from 23,307 in April 2016 to 30,779 this year.

In February the force was deemed ‘Inadequate’ by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate for Constabulary for its crime recording processes. This is all not good but Police and Crime Commissioner Julia Mulligan reports action is being taken and there's a marked improvement. So far 56 extra staff have been trained, they're even talking of taking on students over the busy summer period, and systems have been changed with a new rather baffling THRIVE approach adopted. It has meant call waiting times have gone down dramatically, around five seconds for 999 calls last month.

All this was reported to members of the Police and Crime Panel where Ms Mulligan said it had been made extremely clear from public and partner feedback such levels of service were not acceptable and risked undermining confidence.

It's all costing around £2m, the aim to 'significantly improve' the service. As usual time will tell, public surveys put telephones as the most frequent way of contacting the police, so the importance of a quick, reliable service would seem paramount.