Police urge public to call only in an emergency

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Nottinghamshire Police are preparing for a busy New Year’s Eve with more than 600 calls expected in the first few hours of 2014.

While many residents will be ringing in 2014 with plenty of cheer and perhaps a sore head the force will be busy dealing with hundreds of emergency calls on one of their busiest nights of the year.

Last New Year’s Eve drew a record 2211 calls– most of these between the hours of 1am and 4am.

Like with other traditionally busy periods extra staff will be working around the clock to help ensure help is given to those who need it but the force is once again urging people to avoid unnecessary calls.

Superintendant Paul Pollard said: “We tend to see about 2200 calls between 7am on New Year’s Eve and 7am on New Year’s Day and of course we prepare for that with our staffing levels.

“When a call comes in it needs to be carefully checked to ensure the appropriate response from officers and to ensure the public are kept safe. While a great number of those calls are genuine emergencies sadly there are a number that are not as urgent.

This can take up valuable time when call handlers and officers could be responding to someone whose life is at real risk.”

Of the 2000 calls expected on 31 December 2013 the biggest percentage (41 per cent) fall within the hours of 10pm and 4am. Supt Pollard added: “There are a number of reasons for this. More people are off work, people are out later enjoying themselves, people are distracted and perhaps not as vigilant as they would be usually about security. Alcohol-related incidents also play a huge part.

“There are really two messages we need to get across – the first being please enjoy your night out responsibly. Do not become a drain on resources by drinking too much and have some consideration for other people who may not be partying until dawn.

“Last year we had a 68 calls within a six hour window all relating to antisocial behaviour – the majority of them about noise. Please think about others and leave our officers able to attend serious incidents.

“The second message is please only call us with a genuine emergency.

“If your life or the lives of others are in danger then calling 999 is absolutely the right thing to do. But if it is for another matter or not an emergency please stop and think about whether you can get the information you need from another source or call at another time. Our website has a wealth of information on it. Please don’t stop our officers helping someone whose need is greater than yours.”