Public urged by Cleveland Police to 'think before they pick up the phone to us'
Police chiefs in Hartlepool are appealing for people to help them manage an increased demand in 999 calls.
Cleveland Police are encouraging people to use the police force website - www.cleveland.police.uk – to report non-emergency crime and antisocial behaviour, leaving control room officers to to deal with an increasing number of emergency calls.
In one 24-hour period this week, the control room received 305 999 calls and 744 non-emergency calls.
Of these non-emergency calls, 54% did not required a police response.
People are now being asked to think carefully about whether the police is the correct service for their query and consider whether agencies such as local authorities are better placed to deal with abandoned vehicles, animal problems, litter or discarded drugs paraphernalia, and noisy or nuisance neighbours.
Chf Supt Chris Downes said: “We’re experiencing an increase in demand with the current heatwave, the lifting of restrictions and the first weeks of the school holidays. We’re also being impacted by Covid and self-isolation among our workforce.
“We have plans in place to provide additional support to deal with calls from the most vulnerable and emergency incidents, but it’s important that we continue to be honest with the public about our service delivery.”
He added: "There may be delays in responding to non-emergency calls or incidents.
“We strive to deliver the best service we can but ask for support from the public to think before they pick up the phone to us – is it something that the police would deal with? If it is, can you report it online rather than calling us in a non-emergency situation.”