Only a quarter of 999 calls last Christmas were crime-related
- Credit: Archant
Suffolk police received more than 230 emergency 999 calls per day on average last Christmas, new figures have revealed.
The police figures, from December 1, 2020, to January 4, 2021, showed the force's control room received a total of 8,366 emergency 999 calls during that time - but only a quarter (2,159) involved crime matters.
On average, Suffolk police received 239 emergency calls per day during Christmas last year, with 454 daily calls to the force's 101 non-emergency number.
Suffolk police released the statistics as it reminds people to consider reporting non-emergency incidents online during the busy Christmas period.
The force launched its 'Click Before You Call' campaign in October 2020 in a bid to speed up non-urgent crime reporting while reducing demand on its control room at peak times.
However, police stressed that people should always call 999 when an emergency is ongoing - such as when a crime is in progress or when a life is in danger.
Superintendent Kerry Cutler said: “Over the next few weeks, we are anticipating a further increase in 999 calls. We have already been through a period that has seen calls to 999 reach volumes we normally see on New Year’s Eve.
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"The impact of these increases means that our call takers are unable to service calls to 101 effectively. This in turn, means people calling 101 are having to wait longer.
"Often, when people don’t know who else to call, they generally call the police.
“To help reduce waiting times for those people calling 101, I would ask those that have access to the internet to consider using our online services as an alternative method of reporting non-urgent crime or seeking advice.”
Tim Passmore, police and crime commissioner for Suffolk, said: “Christmas is such a joyous time but sadly not everything always goes to plan, so unfortunately the festive period is also a particularly busy time for our contact and control room.
“I fully support the constabulary’s move to encourage more people to use the website and I hope people will consider reporting incidents online instead, this will help keep the 101 lines available for those who do not have access to the internet."
To report something, visit the force's website here.
For advice regarding crime prevention, anti-social behaviour, animal protection and many other matters, click here.