999 call issue meant police took more than 40 minutes to get to crash at rural accident blackspot

Accident on B3035

Police took more than 40 minutes to get to the scene of a crash this morning at a known accident blackspot after a 999 system issue meant they were only alerted after a delay.

The rush-hour accident on the B3035 between Bishop’s Waltham and Corhampton involved two cars and a motorcycle.

A 999 call was made at 8.41am but police didn’t arrive until 9.22am because the 999 call was routed to the ambulance service which didn’t alert police for 16 minutes.

This meant members of the public were left to attempt to slow traffic on a blind bend to avoid a further accident and an ambulance man had to control traffic.

Fortunately no one is believed to have been seriously injured although a woman with a young child suffered an arm injury.

One witness said: “This incident happened very close to a blind bend on a notorious single carriage road where drivers can legally drive at 60mph, but many often exceed this.

“An ambulance arrived within about 15 minutes, but it was shocking how long it took for police to get there. It just demonstrates how overstretched they are, which means response times, especially in rural areas, are so poor.

“It really shouldn’t be that ordinary members of the public have to stand on busy roads to try to slow down traffic ahead of accidents because the police are so under-resourced and unable to get to places in a timely fashion.

“I think most people would assume that the 999 system would alert multiple emergency services at the same time when required. That clearly didn’t happen in this case even though the public would expect police to be sent to a crash involving several vehicles on a dangerous road.”

A spokesperson for Hampshire Police said: “We were called at 8.57 am to a report of a collision on the B3035 involving two cars. The call handler was told everyone was out of their cars safely and nobody was seriously injured.

“At the time of the call, there were also 125 outstanding incidents across the force. Despite this, we were actually on scene by 9.22am.”