Huge rise in 999 calls prompts GMP plea to the public

Officers are urging the public to think before dialling 999 for non-emergency matters and report them online, following another weekend increase of calls.

Greater Manchester Police say it has seen a large increase in operational demand across the region, arguably caused by the combination of lockdown easing, half term holidays resulting in reduced numbers of people away on holiday, and the sunny weather. 

The force says the number of calls they've received is even greater than last weekend and a significant increase of 32 per cent compared to normal call patterns, in particular those seen only in March this year.

A total of 7,024 999 calls were received last Friday, Saturday and Sunday and based on the numbers of calls from Friday (4 June) - which was 2,185 999 calls - GMP say it is highly likely the pattern will be matched on Saturday and Sunday, seeing in excess of 7,000 calls.

Worryingly, at certain times, the force says up to 60 per cent of 999 calls are not an emergency which is causing "significant delays" in responding to emergency calls effectively.

Once again, residents are being urged by GMP to report a crime or information online by visiting www.gmp.police.uk and clicking 'Report' or by speaking to a call taker using the LiveChat service on the bottom right of the homepage screen 24 hours a day. Crime reference numbers and other queries can also be dealt with online. 

Assistant Chief Constable Nick Bailey said: "Our call centre is a vital service and all of our call takers work extremely hard to answer thousands of calls every single day.

"The easing of restrictions and the sunny weather will inevitably lead to more calls but there are still a large number of calls that could be resolved quicker by using our online services.

"We're also urging the public to consider whether their query or non-urgent matter can wait until after the weekend if appropriate as the number of calls are expected to continue throughout the weekend.

"The message is clear - if it's not 999, report it online. Our online reporting services are a convenient and effective way of making reports and can be easily accessed by visiting www.gmp.police.uk."

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