News

A busy but successful New Year's Eve for police call handlers

03 Jan 2018 09:30 AM

Paul Stewart [View Full Size]

It was a busy New Year's for staff at the police communications centres as they recorded 300 more calls than the same night last year.

Call handlers based at Northumbria Police's call centres in Ponteland and South Shields took more than 1400 calls between 10pm on New Year's Eve and 7am the following morning.

This call volume was up by 320 calls more than the same period at the beginning of 2017 with 631 calls coming in to the 999 number.

However, despite the increased in demand, the call centres answered all of those emergency calls without any delay.

Chief Inspector Paul Stewart has praised his staff for putting in a fantastic New Year's shift but he has also said there was still a number of inappropriate calls to police.

He said: "New Year's Eve is always one of those evenings when we expect it to be busy with the demand on our calls centres almost doubling at this time of year.

"This year it was particularly busy but our staff did a great job in making sure that everyone who called the emergency number was answered in a timely fashion.

"However we did still have a number of calls about non-police matters including a number of people who had had a bit to drink and wanted to wish our staff a Happy New Year.

"As much as we appreciate their kind words it does all add up and it could lead to a delay for other people calling about a genuine police matter.

"We also received calls about loud house parties and noisy fireworks displays. At this time of year we expect those types of calls and unless linked to disorder they are not matters for police.

"If people want to report a noise complaint then they need to contact their local council who can then take action if it is appropriate.

"All of this information is on our website and we would always encourage the public to look there first before taking the decision to call police. It may save your time as well as ours."

To find the best contact number for something you want to report then visit www.northumbria.police.uk/contact. In an emergency, or for when a crime is in action, always dial 999.