Just over 20 per cent of calls made to Hampshire police last month were actually about crime, PCC Donna Jones has revealed.

In September, Hampshire Constabulary was contacted 58,025 times via 999, 101 and online reporting.

But only 35,596 of those contacts were recorded as incidents and just 13,507 were crime-related - the equivalent of 23 per cent.

The remaining 22,500 calls for service were for non-police matters, which take up valuable call-handling time.

Ms Jones said: “These extra calls for non-police business are creating a queue for calls to be answered, not just on the 101 line but on the 999 line as well. 

“Many of the calls and reports police receive are for other agencies and this creates a queue for genuine emergencies and those wishing to report a crime to get through.

“Unnecessary online reports also have to be reviewed by call handling staff which takes them away from processing crime reports and other serious incidents reported online.

“The statistics from September are just an example of how many calls for service police receive which are often about matters for other agencies.”

In July, Hampshire Constabulary published call handling statistics from one ten-hour shift in the call control room on a Saturday night to urge communities to think before they dial 999. 

On that shift, call handlers answered 714 calls via the 999 emergency number.

Of these calls, only 49 per cent (349) were genuine emergencies.

Of the remaining 51 per cent, 44 were made in error, 171 were for general enquiries or updates on existing reports and 150 were non-emergencies that should have been reported online or on 101.

Ms Jones added: “It is vital the public know which service to contact when they need help to ensure those who genuinely need police assistance are able to get the police response they need.

“The police have become a 24-hour advice service and this is stopping them from performing their core business.

“Councils and other agencies have a role to play here and I would like them to work with the Constabulary to ensure the public have access to the right agency to get the right support.”