999 calls to West Yorkshire Police higher than on New Year’s Eve

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West Yorkshire Police received more 999 calls on Friday than it did on New Year’s Eve, prompting the force to highlight the different ways people can report crimes.

Traditionally New Year’s Eve is the busiest day of the year for police but last Friday the county’s force received 1,642 999 calls – 21 more than made on December 31 last year.

It also marked an increase of 200 calls when compared to the previous Friday.

Tom Donohoe, head of the West Yorkshire Police’s Customer Contact Centre, said: “The weekend’s high demand placed great pressure on our services and our staff continued to do a great job in answering calls to the critical 999 number.

“Our call handlers still answered 91 per cent of 999 calls in under 10 seconds on the very busy Friday, with an average queue time of five seconds.”

He said the centre received more than 100 calls to the 999 service every hour between 4pm and midnight which equated to around half of all the 999 calls received that day.

“The increase in demand could be due to a number of reasons, but the good weather may have had an impact and demand started slightly earlier than what it usually does,” he said.

As a result, the force is reminding people that there are several ways to contact police.

Non-emergency crimes can be reported online via the West Yorkshire Police website, local neighbourhood policing teams or by calling the 101 number.

Mr Donohoe said: “I would continue to remind members of the public that there are other ways they can report crime and 999 should only be used in an emergency.

“The 101 Live Chat service continues to be popular and enables the public to talk to Customer Contact Centre agents in ‘real time’ via a text messenger system for simple queries for example.”

He said use of online facilities hit record levels in September, topping 8,750 contacts.

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