Police report “all-time high” for 999 and non-emergency calls

Police are concerned about the rise in 999 calls

Police are concerned about the rise in 999 calls - Credit: Archant

As a result, police are asking the public to think carefully about whether the situation they face is a policing matter, encouraging people to make use of online reporting and highlighting the negative impact of hoax calls.

In 2018, the force's call centre in Huntingdon answered 320,897 non-emergency 101 calls, 130,142 999 calls and received 14,301 online reports, as well as 14,474 webchats.

Superintendent James Sutherland, head of public contact, said: "We continue to experience incredibly high demand for service. It is vital that people only dial 999 in a genuine emergency. Inappropriate calls could put lives at risk by causing a delay in us speaking to people in danger.

"We are here to serve the public and if there's a genuine reason we will do exactly that, however it's important the right response is given as soon as possible to those who really need us.

"To help us do this please think about whether to call 999, 101 or another organisation if the issue isn't a policing matter.

"We are living in an increasingly digital age. I'm really pleased we can offer people the opportunity to report non-emergencies on our website and communicate with us via a webchat service. If people haven't reported a non-emergency in this way I would encourage them to try it next time they need to do so."

One of the force's objectives is to reduce the number of calls coming into the centre by promoting the use of online services and correct use of the 999 service.

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Since the launch of the online reporting functions in October 2017, there has been a 135 per cent increase in the use of the online forms, but there has also been a two per cent increase in 999 calls and only a five per cent decrease in 101 calls. This rise in demand is due to a number of different reasons and the force is developing awareness campaigns to try and tackle the increase in calls.