‘Unprecedented’ spike in 999 calls sparks warning from Hampshire police

Police said they are getting more 999 and 101 calls
Police said they are getting more 999 and 101 calls
Gosport High Street.
Picture Ian Hargreaves (171552-1) PPP-170211-170421006

PSPO comes into effect in Gosport

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Police in Hampshire are warning people of an ‘unprecedented’ spike in 999 calls.

Hampshire police said, along with other police forces, it had seen an increase in 999 and 101 calls, partly due to ‘alertness’ after terror attacks and the good weather.

A spokeswoman said the number of 999 calls between January to June this year has increased by nine per cent with 114,486 this year.

In the same period last year there were 105,212 to the emergency number.

Calls to the 101 non-emergency number in this time period also increased by one per cent, up to 326,230 this year compared with 324,069 in the same six months last year.

‘This surge in calls is believed to be partly attributed to the increase in good weather as well as an increased level of alertness among the public following recent terrorist attacks,’ a spokeswoman said

‘However, increasingly we are finding that people are calling 999 when it’s not an emergency. In an attempt to help people to understand which number they should call and when, we are going to be releasing information on our social media channels and through the media.’

In a series of tips aimed at reducing inappropriate calls the force said:

:: We always prioritise 999 calls over the non-emergency 101 number. When we have significant numbers of 999 calls, we dedicate more of our call handlers to operating these emergency calls. At peak times of demand, this reduces our capacity to answer non-emergency calls.

:: If a life is in danger, a crime is being committed, there’s a risk of injury or an immediate police response is required, dial 999. Calls to this number are always free.

:: For non-emergency police enquiries, call 101. Calls to this number cost a flat fee of 15p, no matter what time of day you call or how long you are on the phone for.

:: Our peak demand times for 101 calls are from 8am to 10am and between 4pm and 8pm. If callers experience a delay in getting through to us on the 101 number, we are asking them not to phone 999 as an alternative but to please call back later.

:: We receive a significant amount of calls which don’t require police assistance. Before calling, please think about whether the police are the best people to help you.

:: If you are looking for general information or the latest news, please visit our website www.hampshire.police.uk