Police thank communities for getting online before picking up the phone
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At the beginning of the summer period we posed a simple question.
“Should you click, or should you call?”
Every year we received almost 100,000 calls to our emergency 999 phone lines. However, not all of these calls are urgent or an emergency meaning they should not have come in via 999.
Each summer we typically see an increase in demand. Good weather, easing of Covid restrictions, school holidays, the Euros, bank holidays and local events all add to the demands placed upon the police service and usually result in an increase in calls to 999 and 101, especially in the evenings and at the weekends.
Over the past six weeks through our Click or Call campaign we have been telling you about the demand placed upon our services, and in particular our Contact Management Centre and our officers on the frontline. To help protect our resources, so we are dealing with the right type of demand, we have been asking people to start online and visit our website first to resolve their issue before picking up the phone. This helps us to help you.
Assistant Chief Constable Deb Smith said:
“As an emergency service we are always going to be in high demand, however we know that not every call is an emergency, a report of crime or even something the Police should be dealing with.
“Over the summer we have asked that before you call you consider if you can access the information you need or make a report using our website."
The challenges of demand are not just restricted to Wiltshire Police, but are experienced by all police forces. Nationally the August bank holiday weekend saw police call centres across the country experience extreme levels of calls.
ACC Smith added “I would like to say thank you to those of you who have already made the change to start online.
“Between 1 June 2021 and 31 August 2021, we have had 81,202 visits to our website from 50,302 people, who have looked at 265,182 pages.
“In the last three months 6725 forms have been completed using the website. That could have been 6725 additional calls to 999 or 101.
“By going online you can free up our specialist call handlers and keep our phone lines open so we can deal with the immediate threats to life, immediate risk and crimes in progress.
“We need more people to keep making this change and start online if your call isn’t urgent or a crime isn’t in progress.
“In no way do we want to discourage our communities from reaching out to us if they need our help, but it is important to remember that 999 is an emergency number and there are other non-emergency options.”
The summer may be coming to an end but Click or Call is here to stay. A new website introduced earlier this year offers a more modern approach to accessing information, getting in touch and reporting crime.
You have the power to help us reduce demand where we need it the most. If your question or report is not urgent, before you call 101 or 999 please start online.
Visit www.wiltshire.police.uk for more information.
Click or Call? Save our time. It’s your call.