News : New Ways to Contact Police in Cornwall
Cornwall, UK, June 28, 2016 -- Cornwall is being urged to report a crime online, rather than ring the non-emergency helpline.
The Duchy and Devon force says calls to 101 shoot up 35% in the summer.
One in four is about stuff they should not be dealing with, like fly-tipping, stray dogs or noisy neighbours.
Devon and Cornwall Police says with the same number of call handlers year round, this extra demand inevitably can have an impact on call waiting times.
People can now complete an online non-urgent crime report or use the 'contact an officer' facility, which will be dealt with in the same way as a call to 101, but can often be quicker and more convenient for busy people.
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For other matters, an email to email@example.com is a convenient alternative option to calling 101.
Sandy Brooks, head of the police contact centre said: "Lots of hard work has been going on behind the scenes in recent months to make the best use of the resources we have available. One thing we have done is introduce alternative, convenient ways to contact us for non-urgent matters, to reduce some of the demand coming in via the 101 number and offer people alternatives to the phone.
"We would ask people first whether it's the police they actually need to contact – many calls we receive are about fly tipping, stray dogs, noisy neighbours or illegally parked cars. These are all in fact areas the local council deal with.
"Around a quarter of calls to us are for information. We would encourage people to click before they call and ask themselves whether they can find the answer on our website, searching for key words or by using the 'Ask the Police' facility, a useful resource that has answers to hundreds of commonly asked questions."
The public are being asked to contact the police online for non-urgent matters whenever practical.
A campaign running throughout the summer has been launched to raise awareness of the different ways the public can contact the police.
Ms Brooks added: "We know some people want to speak to a person or don't have access to the Internet. We want to encourage more people to contact us using these alternative contact methods, so we can manage our demand more efficiently and provide an even better 101 telephone service to those people who really do need to call us."
Alison Henandez, Police and Crime Commissioner for Devon and Cornwall said: "I'm pleased the police are introducing alternative contact methods for non-urgent matters. I recognise not everyone necessarily wants to call 101 and potentially have to wait several minutes to be dealt with. Choice is important.
"I also recognise the summer period brings an increase in demand for the police and so I welcome the timing of this announcement. I will watch with interest how the public respond to this and I am keen to support more convenient choices in the way the public contact the police here in Devon and Cornwall."
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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About Cornwall Police:
The Cornwall Community Police Service has served the citizens of Cornwall since 1784 and is comprised of 91 officers, 34 civilians and 9 special constables.
Published: Thursday, June 30, 2016
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