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Thursday, December 24, 2015

Don't make unnecessary 999 calls say police

Emergency services are pooling their resources in a bid to reduce the amount of unnecessary and inappropriate calls made to the Joint Communication Centre in St Asaph over Christmas.

In addition to the police and fire officers, a paramedic and a mental health worker will be based in the control room over the busiest days to be tactical advisers to the Force Incident Manager.

Supt Alex Goss said: “Traditionally Christmas and New Year are among the busiest times of year for the police, fire and ambulance and we are asking everyone to be mindful before dialling 999.

“This year we will have a multi-agency desk. The additional assistance from the mental health workers will mean we have professional advisors available to us if anyone is threatening harm or at risk they can provide the appropriate advice, thus taking the pressures off police officers.

“78% of the calls into the control room are not crime related. This is a massive drain on resources, so anything that can help to reduce the extra demand is beneficial to the public and the service provided.

"People are always encouraged to use 999 in a genuine emergency and never put themselves at risk.
For those people who do not have an emergency please use the single non-emergency 101 number.

“We don’t want to deter anyone from calling 999, but we want them to think twice before they do.We are asking people to use the system wisely to help ensure a genuine emergency is not missed over the holidays.”

Live web chat is catching on as more and more people use it to talk to North Wales Police.

Since the service was introduced at the beginning of July, over 400 people have used the live web chat facility to report various things to the force.

Live web chat is also now a 24 hour service that allows visitors to the North Wales Police website to communicate with control room staff in real time, via on-screen messages.

Call Centre Manager, Paul Shea said: “With over 400 people using the service since it was introduced in July people are obviously becoming aware that online reporting is a good alternative way of contacting North Wales Police.

“One of its big benefits is that it’s good for the deaf or hard of hearing community, as well as non-English/Welsh speakers who may not feel comfortable speaking to someone.”

The live web chat runs alongside the facility to ‘Report an incident online’, which are different methods of trying to cope with demands, but in an emergency people should always call 999, which runs on a separate system.

The service is intended for non-emergency enquiries, providing quick and positive feedback.

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