'Think before you dial' is the message from police after they released clips of real 999 calls including one made over a misplaced parcel and another over dry-cleaning
The number of incidents reported to Leicestershire Police during Hallowe’en dropped by 20 per cent compared to last year.
In total 816 incidents were reported to officers yesterday, compared to 1,025 throughout the 24 hour period of 31 October 2017 when there was unprecedented demand on police resources.
As a result of this, the force launched a campaign last week urging people to ‘Think before they dial’ in a bid to reduce improper use of the emergency number, particularly at peak times such as Hallowe’en.
We are delighted to say that this led to 114 fewer 999 calls yesterday, down from 527 in 2017 to 413.
As part of the campaign, the force released real life audio of people inappropriately calling the emergency number for issues including a parcel being taken and dry cleaning stolen.
Superintendent Richard Ward, who leads the contact management centre at force headquarters, said: “Although there were higher numbers of anti-social behaviour incidents related to Hallowe’en, officers were able to respond swiftly and support our local communities.
“Last Hallowe’en we had an unprecedented number of calls, some of which were completely unnecessary or inappropriate for an emergency number, so I’m pleased to see that demand was reduced this year and believe the campaign is helping us to get that message out.
“We want to ensure that people know 999 is for emergencies only and shouldn’t be dialled for anything other than this. An emergency is when a serious crime is in progress, when there is danger to life or when violence is being threatened. We urge people to ‘Think before they dial’ to avoid blocking the emergency line and preventing genuine emergency calls from getting through.”
Issues which should be reported to partner agencies include anti-social behaviour such as fly tipping, on-going noise nuisance, dog fouling, all of which should be reported to your local authority. Similarly, abandoned vehicles, should be reported to the council, unless they are causing an obstruction or danger, or they are believed stolen. Untaxed vehicles should be reported to the DVLA.
Non-emergency crime can be reported via 101 or online www.leics.police.uk