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999, what IS your emergency?

This feature is part of a campaign to encourage people to think before they call and help reduce demand on the non-emergency 101 line. 

Did you know - over 300,000 calls were made to our Communications Centre since April this year.

The majority of calls we receive come via the non-emergency 101 line, approximately 2,200 a day. The rest are emergency 999 calls, with 80% responded to inside 10 seconds.

It’s our talented teams of call handlers who answer them. Based at Police HQ, they provide 24/7 telephone support, 365 days a year, and help save lives.

But demand on our Communications Centre is increasing, and one problem we face is inappropriate or hoax calls.

Misuse of the system can result in longer wait times on our 101 line for everyone, and even the possibility of a genuine 999 call being blocked from reaching us.

To raise awareness, we’ve launched a new Twitter account @ASPCallCentre to help give guidance on the correct use of 101 and 999 and highlight times of peak demand. 

Follow @ASPCallCentre.

Here are just some of the number of inappropriate calls we’ve tweeted about this month

Persistent callers

In the past 12 months, our top four repeat callers contacted us almost 5,000 times.

Persistent calling of emergency services can be an early indication of a vulnerable person that needs help and support. We capture and refer these cases to help trigger early intervention. Read more about the support we offer.

If someone persistently calls us with intent to abuse the emergency system or our staff, we can take further action.

More news, features and related pages in this series: