Eccleshill West Yorkshire, UK, July 13, 2020 -- In the latest spotlight on #Not999, West Yorkshire Police has released clips of inappropriate 999 calls.
In a series of clips, 999 phone lines were blocked with calls from people trying to get into a casino, retrieve a parcel and asking if Police could help to turn electricity back on in someone’s home.
West Yorkshire Police will release a series of clips every Sunday (From 12 July) on social media, highlighting just some of the ridiculous reasons why people choose to ring 999, in hopes of driving traffic down to the emergency line and to make sure that call handler’s time isn’t being wasted.
Tom Donohoe, Senior Contact Manager for West Yorkshire Police, said: "The 999 line should be used when there is a crime in progress or a threat to life. In those situations, seconds could mean the difference between officers catching a suspect at the scene or them getting away and ultimately life or death.
"Our call handlers do try to be patient and appreciate that not all inappropriate 999 calls are hoaxes and that many are driven by mental health issues or a lack of awareness, that is why we all have a part to play in educating ourselves and others. They are all too aware though that every second they spend on the phone to someone who is not experiencing a real emergency, is vital time that they are not helping someone who is really in need.
"Before calling 999, you need to ask yourself, are you reporting a crime that is happening right now or is someone’s life in danger? If the answer isn’t yes to either of these questions then you should be looking at alternative contact methods."
West Yorkshire Police is also continuing to highlight what the police should and should not be contacted about and options for doing so.
"It’s pretty obvious to everyone that the police are not the right people to phone to order a cheeseburger but there still remains misconceptions about when you should contact the police.
"Flytipping and noise nuisance for instance are a matter for your local council not the police; most damage only collisions don’t require any police involvement and need only be reported to your insurance company.
"Even for legitimate police matters, rather than phoning the non-emergency 101 phone number, there are a lot of options online to find out information, get progress on a case, report an offence or anti-social behaviour or to make contact with an officer," Mr Donohoe added.
Some of the examples where you can ‘click before you call’:
Local Crime Tracker
The Customer Contact Centre handles an average 2,800 101 calls a day. Around 20 per cent of these calls are from victims of crime looking for an update on their investigation or contact details for the officer investigating. West Yorkshire Police introduced the Local Crime Tracker in 2014 which allows people to find out the status of their investigation by searching by their unique crime reference number. The tracker is due to be improved shortly with victims being able to request further information through the system which will tell them when the officer handling their investigation is next on shift. The Force is also working hard on our commitment to keeping the public informed about their report
101 Live Chat
Members of the public can have a two-way conversation with a member of the Customer Contact Centre team by using the 101 Live Chat system on the West Yorkshire Police website. The benefit of using this system is that a Contact Centre Agent can provide assistance to a number of people at the same time, rather than being engaged on one phone line, and for quick queries, it is an ideal way to beat the queue.
Ask the Police
West Yorkshire Police has recently signed up to askthepolice.uk which offers answers to frequently asked questions to the police. Residents are urged wherever possible to check on the website or mobile app first to see if they can get an answer to their question without needing to contact the police.
Online crime reporting
While 101 can be used to report crimes, there are also options to report crimes on the West Yorkshire Police website. There are dedicated forms for reporting anti-social behaviour, nuisance bikes and hate crime. 999 should always be used to report a crime in progress or if there is a threat to life
West Yorkshire Community Alert
West Yorkshire Police launched a new messenger system ‘West Yorkshire Community Alert’ in May which enables members of the public to keep in touch with local police updates. People can sign up for updates from their NPT or Neighbourhood Watch contacts, or join a number of specialised community interest groups such as business watch, dog walkers, motorists or crime prevention.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
About West Yorkshire Police:
West Yorkshire Police is the territorial police force responsible for policing West Yorkshire in England. It is the fourth largest force in England and Wales by number of officers, with 5671 officers.
Published: Tuesday, July 14, 2020
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