Hot weather sees surge in 999 calls to Police - The Solihull Observer

Hot weather sees surge in 999 calls to Police

Solihull Editorial 20th Jun, 2017   0

DEMAND for police services in the West Midlands hit unprecedented highs over the weekend with the force taking more 999 calls on each day than it did on New Year’s Eve.

Last New Year’s Eve − traditionally the busiest day for UK policing − West Midlands Police took 2,727 emergency calls from the public.

But demand over June 17 and 18 outstripped those levels and peaked at 2,840 on Sunday.

The surge in 999 calls has been attributed to the sweltering temperatures with people spending more time outdoors and drinking more alcohol.

West Midlands Police Force Contact Manager, Chief Inspector Gareth Mason, urged people to use the emergency 999 and non-emergency 101 numbers responsibly − and said people reporting less urgent matters may need to be patient.

He said: “We often see an increase in demand during hot weather; it’s difficult to identify a single cause.

“However, more people tend to spend time outside resulting in more antisocial behaviour reports, alcohol intakes increase and tempers can fray more easily in the heat.

“West Midlands Police is working incredibly hard to answer and resource these additional calls for service.

“At times like this it’s really important that people don’t clog up our phone lines and waste call handers’ time with trivial matters or questions that could be answered with a quick internet search.

“We need to prioritise calls so we can quickly reach people in urgent need of police support or to scenes where crimes are in progress.

“It may be that people reporting non-emergency matters have to wait a little longer than normal to see an officer and we thank them for their understanding.”

On Friday just over 2,400 emergency calls were made to West Midlands Police; that number rose to 2,757 on Saturday and on Sunday the force received 2,840 999 calls from the public.

On Monday that number had fallen to 2,410 but it’s still well above the daily average of just fewer than 2,000.

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