Number of 999 calls to West Yorkshire Police tops New Year's Eve demand

editorial image

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 forces 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 to the 999 service 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 the public 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.

“Our on-line facilities also continue to be popular, and sparked a record number of ‘hits’ in September - over 8,750 contacts - and I would continue to encourage members of the public to consider using these and the Live Chat in non-emergencies.

Also, please try to avoid calling at our peak times, between 4pm and 7pm, for non-emergency issues. It really does help us to help the public more effectively."

Visit www.westyorkshire.police.uk/contact-us/report-crime to find out more about ways to report crime.

Paula Dillon, President of Leeds Chamber Commerce.

New Chamber of Commerce boss Dillon calls for far more women in STEM jobs