THOUSANDS of 999 calls were left unanswered by Hampshire Police as control rooms come under increased pressure.

Figures revealed 3,641 emergency calls were not answered between January 2016 and June 2017.

More than 135,000 calls to the force's 101 service were also left unanswered over the same period.

Among the worst months was June of this year when two percent of 999 and 27 per cent of 101 calls went unanswered.

Now Hampshire Constabulary has joined forces with Thames Valley police in a £27 million project to revamp the call handling service.

Under the plans, both forces will install a new command and control platform which will be used to record all contact from the public including crime reported online, by telephone or in person.

The platform will also be used within the police control room to manage crime and incidents and help deploy officers in emergency and non-emergency situations.

Chief Superintendent Christian Bunt said: "Police forces across the country are currently facing high levels of demand into their control rooms and contact centres, and Hampshire Constabulary is no different."

He said the new system will be in place in the first half of next year and added: "It will enable us to provide a more victim-focused response and provide more information to the call handler to enable us to tailor our response to the needs of the caller. This is particularly important when dealing with people who are vulnerable."

Michael Lane, Hampshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, added: "The 999 and 101 service has been, and continues to be, under pressure but I would like to reassure the public that we monitor performance very closely and that the constabulary’s response to 999 emergency calls and serious threats continues to be professional, impactful and timely.

"Over the summer there was an increase in calls that in part resulted from an increase in demand, but also reflected the public need for reassurance following on from the terrible events of this year.

"The short-term action taken has been to recruit extra staff into our control room to support the increase in demand.

"For the longer term, a project is nearing completion and will improve the public’s experience of 999 and 101, and indeed all engagement and communication with the constabulary."