A WESTHOUGHTON mum waited almost an hour and a half for police to answer one of her calls.

Jenna Murphy rang 101 at around 9.30pm on Tuesday, hoping to report some anti-social behaviour in front of her home off The Fairways.

However after holding for an hour and 18 minutes, she decided to give up and head to bed for the night.

Mrs Murphy said: “A group of youths have been gathering on a footpath opposite for some weeks now - screaming, shouting, loud music, swearing, balloons and cannisters, litter - the usual.

"I thought if I rang 101 it would bring it more to their attention, but I had to go to bed eventually because I thought I can’t stay up waiting.

"It’s the third time this has happened. The first time I rang it took 45 minutes, that was a Saturday night so I gave them some leeway, the next time took an hour and then this was the longest yet."

Police didn't respond to a request for a comment about Mrs Murphy's call time.

A Freedom of Information request has revealed that more than three-quarters of all calls to non-emergency number 101, between January and March 2019, were not answered within target timeframes set by Greater Manchester Police (GMP).

In the first three months of 2019, 99,837 calls were made to 101 in Greater Manchester. Of those calls, 76,663 were answered outside of internal targets set by the force. Some 27 per cent of all calls to 101 in the time period were abandoned by the caller or the force’s control room before they were answered

Since the figures were released, the force has dispensed with target wait times, instead reviewing calls weekly.

Superintendent Mark Kenny said: “Our priority will always be to deal with the emergency calls for help that we receive through 999.

"We continuously experience varying levels of demand and will always prioritise calls based on threat, harm and risk. We will continue to answer 101 calls however, if our emergency demand from 999 is high, non-emergency calls make take longer to respond to.

“We prioritise our resources to those at most risk who need immediate assistance because their lives or property are in imminent danger.

"While we understand that members of the public may be concerned about these figures, I want to reassure Greater Manchester residents that we are continuing to work closely to establish alternative ways of reporting crime whilst coping with an increased complexity in the calls we receive.

“I also want to remind people of the importance of reporting crimes to us. Please, if a crime is happening at that very moment or if there is a threat to life or property, call 999 immediately.

"If it’s less urgent but you still need to report something to us, our new website can be used to report a range of crimes and the LiveChat function can also put you directly through to one of our operators who can support with your report.”

A spokesman said: “GMP does not currently have a target wait time for 101 calls, however, all call times are monitored and reviewed weekly. Unofficial targets have been set in previous years however these were removed due to the increasing demand and complexity of queries. We continue to encourage people to go to our new website where they report low risk crimes online.”