KENT Police is the quickest force in the country at answering non-emergency 101 calls, according to new figures.

The force came out on top in the England and Wales, taking on average just five seconds to pick up the phone.

It also claimed to answer 98 per cent of all calls within 30 seconds which was second only to Devon and Cornwall on 100 per cent.

But Kent Police did take nearly 15 minutes to answer one of the nearly 300,000 calls it received between January and October last year.

The figures are the result of a freedom of information request by the BBC to which 30 of the 43 police forces in England and Wales responded.

The 101 number was fully introduced nationally in January last year and is aimed at helping people report crimes such as drug dealing, car theft and property damage.

Kent Police figures 

Calls: 295889

Average time taken to answer: five seconds

Answered within 30 seconds: 98 per cent

Calls dropped: 1.5 per cent

Longest time taken to answer: 14 minutes 47 seconds