Police chief urges people to only call 999 in an emergency as demand soars

Police are urging people in Wigan to think twice before dialling 999 for non-emergency matters and instead report online ahead of the bank holiday weekend.

Friday, 30th April 2021, 3:26 pm
Updated Friday, 30th April 2021, 3:28 pm

Recently Greater Manchester Police (GMP) has seen a large increase in operational demand, which has resulted in a huge rise in 999 calls.

The force said last weekend almost 1,000 more 999 calls were made compared to the same weekend last year, with too many not being for emergencies.

One call came from a man who had put fuel in his vehicle but did not have the means to pay as he had left his wallet at home.

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Many 999 calls are being made to the police

Others included someone ringing to report a car indicator that had been flashing for an hour with no-one in the vehicle and a man reporting temporary traffic lights that were not working.

Chief Superintendent Paul Clements, head of GMP's operational communications branch, said: "Ahead of the bank holiday weekend, I am urging Greater Manchester to only dial 999 in an emergency. We receive too many 999 calls that are not emergencies.

"Although I'm sure some of these calls were made with the best of intentions, the stark reality is that by tying up the emergency line with a non-urgent call, you could be harming our ability to answer a cry for help from somebody in desperate need or delay our response to a serious incident.

"Therefore our message this weekend is clear: if it's not 999, report it online.

"Our online reporting services are a convenient and effective way to make non-urgent reports to the police. The service can be easily accessed by visiting the GMP website and clicking on the reporting button before selecting the option you need.

"Please only call 999 if it's an emergency."

Non-emergency reports can be made by visiting GMP's website, with options including anti-social behaviour, road traffic incidents and lost or stolen vehicles.

For anyone having difficulty using the system, there is a live chat function to speak to someone.

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