FOI Friday: Ambulance call out hot spots, crisis fund rejections, Premier League policing and missed 101 calls

FOIFRIDAYLOGO

Most frequent ambulance call out homes < BBC

The Welsh Ambulance Service is urging people to think before dialling 999, after one home rang for an ambulance 290 times in a year.

Of the call-outs to the property in Colwyn Bay, Conwy, 98 resulted in hospital visits.

The service spent 3,660 hours dealing with the “top 10″ frequent emergency callers in north Wales last year.

The cost of police and crime commissioners < Northampton Chronicle

The number of staff employed by Northamptonshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner has almost trebled and the wage spend nearly doubled in the 18 months since he started his job, latest figures have shown.

A Freedom of Information request revealed PCC Adam Simmonds employed 12 staff in his office at an annual cost of £729,100 when he began his new role in November 2012.

By March 31 this year, the number of staff had risen to 34 and the associated costs had increased to a total of £1.4 million.

Analysis of all the staff structures used by PCCs at all the other police forces in England revealed Mr Simmonds had the largest amount of employees under his direct control.

Crisis fund applications rejected < Inside Housing

English councils turned down more than 70,000 applications for emergency housing assistance last year, despite £9 million of funding being handed back to government.

Research by Inside Housing has revealed that while 153 councils underspent their discretionary housing payment allocations in 2013/14, others turned away thousands of applicants and still spent well over their allocated amount.

Responses by 203 councils to freedom of information requests showed 249,457 applications for DHP were received in 2013/14. Of these, 70,486 were refused, with 41,639 of the rejections made by councils which spent at least 95 per cent of their allocations.

Abandoned calls to the police < Plymouth Herald

Hundreds of people are hanging up every month when they try to reach police in Devon and Cornwall.

According to figures released to the BBC, an average 250 calls a month to the 101 non-urgent police number see people hang up before the phone is answered.

The figures related to calls abandoned between June 2013 and March 2014 and were obtained under the Freedom of Information Act.

Devon and Cornwall Police told the BBC 94% of calls were answered within 30 seconds.

But 101 callers wait longer if the 999 service is busy because both 999 and 101 share call centres in Exeter and Plymouth.

Policing costs in the Premier League  < WalesOnline

The cost of policing Cardiff City’s home matches this season amounted to a staggering £140,000, WalesOnline can reveal.

New data shows that nearly three quarters of this figure – which excludes costs linked to Sunday’s final Premier League fixture with Chelsea – was spent on policing operations at fixtures against just five clubs, including arch-rivals Swansea City.

Data released under Freedom of Information laws reveals that South Wales Police’s costs for keeping order at Cardiff City Stadium during the current season amounted to a massive £140,528 – an increase of £76,226 on 2012/13.

£104,549 of the total was spent on matches against Swansea City, Manchester United, Everton, Tottenham and Manchester City.

Policing costs for match against Swansea City alone stood at £23,404.

Vanishing library books < Teesdale Mercury

THE county council has revealed “disturbing” figures which show the true extent of the reduction of book numbers at Barnard Castle Library.

The number of books at the library has more than halved in the past three years.

A Freedom of Information (FOI) request as revealed that there are 7,299 books held in the library. In 2011 the library had 14,860 books.

Book numbers peaked in 1996 when the library boasted 21,234 titles, almost three times the current stock.

Town councillor Tom Deacon, who submitted the FOI request, blamed Durham County Council for the drop and said library staff should not be “tarred” by the revelations.

Biggest and smallest business rates debts < Slough Observer

BAILIFFS were sent out by the council to claw back a paltry £15.50 business rates debt, The Observer can reveal.

The debt was one of more than 2,000 bailiffs were ordered to collect by town hall bosses last year.

The unpaid cash they were sent to collect totalled more than £2.5m, with the majority made up of unpaid council tax.

The figures can be revealed after a Freedom of Information request from The Observer.

This paper asked for the totals and highest and lowest outstanding payments the council’s appointed bailiffs or debt recovery collectors were called in to enforce.

Burglaries via Grindr < Cambridge News

A Cambridgeshire police report about a burglary has linked information on dating website Grindr to the crime.

The website and ‘app’ is geared towards gay, bisexual and bi-curious men.

The information was revealed using freedom of information laws after a request was submitted to the force asking for any crime reports in which dating websites Grindr, Tinder and eHarmony were mentioned.

THE county council has revealed “disturbing” figures which show the true extent of the reduction of book numbers at Barnard Castle Library.
The number of books at the library has more than halved in the past three years.
A Freedom of Information (FOI) request as revealed that there are 7,299 books held in the library. In 2011 the library had 14,860 books.
Book numbers peaked in 1996 when the library boasted 21,234 titles, almost three times the current stock.
Town councillor Tom Deacon, who submitted the FOI request, blamed Durham County Council for the drop and said library staff should not be “tarred” by the revelations. – See more at: http://www.teesdalemercury.co.uk/Articles/2014/barnard-castle-library-slashes-half-of-its-books-in-three-years#sthash.f4KDKPGY.dpuf

One comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s