Austerity has forced police to use their time more efficiently and this has meant prioritising calls from victims of alleged crimes, the Association of Chief Police Officers said.
President Sir Hugh Orde said:
We accept that the public has a natural expectation to have a positive and supportive experience of interacting with the police service when they have been a victim of crime.
The reality of austerity in policing means that forces must ensure that their officers' time is put to best use and this means prioritising calls.
In some instances, this may mean that a report of a crime where the victim is not in imminent danger or the offender is not still in the immediate vicinity will be dealt with over the phone or by other means than the deployment of an officer to the scene. This is not an abdication of forces' duty of care to victims.