Home News West Yorkshire Police handled over 2000 emergency calls on New Year’s Eve

West Yorkshire Police handled over 2000 emergency calls on New Year’s Eve

The ‘unsung heroes’ who work in the Customer Contact Centre have been praised for their work in handling over 2,000 emergency calls on New Year’s Eve.

The last night of the year is typically the busiest West Yorkshire Police faces for call demand and this year was no exception with 2,030 calls made to the 999 emergency number between 0700am on the 31 December to 0700am on 1 January.

This was up by 23% compared with the same day in 2017 meaning an extra 380 emergency number calls. This was despite 97 of these calls being ‘pocket dials’

In the first five hours of New Year’s Day 855 calls were made to the 999 number.

In total the Customer Contact Centre dealt with 4336 contacts.

Despite the massive demand the average queue time on New Year’s Eve into New Year’s Day for people facing an emergency situation was only four seconds and no 999 calls were abandoned. The Force has now not abandoned a 999 call for the past 17 months.

Tom Donohoe, Senior Contact Manager for West Yorkshire Police; “New Year’s Eve is always a very busy night for the Customer Contact Centre and it was especially busy this time.

“We have to treat each 999 call as a genuine emergency – so we have to presume that the caller is someone facing a serious situation in their life and needing our help, quickly.

“Our call handlers have to investigate every call – and that includes ‘pocket dials’ and people calling in for a lift home – yes, we really had calls to taxi people home.

“Despite this demand for service our call handlers coped extremely well – they are some of the ‘unsung heroes’ of the Force – they are usually the first person someone speaks to when they are facing a terrible time in their life.

“I want to take this opportunity on behalf of the Senior Leadership Team to thank them for their work throughout 2018 – a year which has seen unprecedented demand on the Customer Contact Centre – culminating in a particularly busy New Year’s Eve.”

During New Year’s Eve the Force handled

109 domestic violence based calls

116 violence against the person calls

127 concern for safety calls

As well as the 999 emergency number the Force also has the 101 number for people who need to contact the Force – but not in an emergency situation (for example to report a car being broken into overnight)

The Force priorities the 999 number but centre staff have been working hard to improve the service offered and we are seeing some real, consistent, improvements.

Despite the massive demand on the centre the average queue time for non emergency 101 calls was just over a minute (68 seconds).