Can you help us to make sure we get emergency 999 help to those in our county who need us most?
Every day at Essex Police our dedicated force control room take thousands of calls from the public on our 999 and 101 numbers.
However, at the moment we are unfortunately seeing an increase in people ringing 999 for non-emergency matters.
At Essex Police we spend every minute of every day helping you, our public, when you need us. But we are asking people to consider the appropriateness of their use of the 999 service to ensure we can continue to get an emergency response to those in need.
Yesterday, Friday 27 May, Essex Police received nearly 1,200 calls from members of the public - 220 of these resulted in emergency incidents. Some of the incidents called through to 999, which were not an emergency, included:
A man ringing to ask for the non-emergency number for Essex Police (which is widely available from our website and social media channels);
A lorry diver calling to report a taxi blocking a warehouse entrance where there was no impact to public highway. The taxi company details were also known to the lorry driver;
A call to report a van in the car park of a village hall where the handbrake had failed and it had rolled slightly - the owner arrived during the call and the issue was resolved.
Whilst we will continue to help everybody, we would like to ask people to consider which of our services is the right one for your circumstances.
Chief Supt Stuart Hooper, Essex Police’s Head of Contact Management said:
“Every day our operators taking 999 and 101 calls work tirelessly to make sure we get you the help you need and ensure our officers are where they are needed most. “However, we are experiencing an increasing number of calls to 999 for matters which don’t require an emergency response. “We want to help everyone, but in the moments it takes us to answer a 999 call for something that is not an emergency it could mean that somewhere, someone else who genuinely needs us quickly may be waiting to get through. “If you need us but it is not an emergency, please consider: using our website which is full of useful information which may help; using our online reporting or Live Chat functions to report crime or give us information; and you can also call 101. Everyone who needs our help will get it, but we need you to help us to help you by using the most appropriate method of contact.”
When to call us
To help people work out which service best fits their need, we are advising on some simple steps:
Call 999 if you have a genuine emergency such as the following circumstances:
Is a crime happening right now and is life or property at risk?
Are criminals, suspects or a wanted individual near you and posing a risk of harm?
Is there a serious incident ongoing that you think may require police, for example someone is hurt, there is a serious road traffic collision, someone is posing a threat or risk of serious harm to you or others.
And before using our other services please consider: is there information on our website (www.essex.police.uk) which may answer your question and give you the information you need; or is it police you need or will another agency be better placed to help you (local councils, environment agency etc.).
You can report non-emergency crime online at www.essex.police.uk, use our Live Chat function or ring us on 101 if:
a crime has already happened and you want to report it and there is no immediate threat or risk to you, others or property;
you want to share some information with us or speak to a specific Essex Police officer;