Almost 2,000 people are expected to ring Nottinghamshire Police this Friday as the force prepares for its busiest time of year.
With more than a call a minute expected to come in on ‘mad’ Friday, the last Friday before Christmas, there will be increased call takers ready to deal with the influx of 999 and 101 calls.
But control room bosses hope people will use their common sense and avoid making unnecessary calls.
Supt Paul Pollard said: “Based on our data from previous years we expect to be extremely busy on Friday – dealing with a great deal of serious incidents.
“The message that we need to stress is that while we are trying to get to people in a genuine emergency we can often see our officers’ time taken up with unnecessary calls.”
On an average Friday the force receives around 1,700 calls but these peak around evening rush hour (5pm to 6pm) and 2am. The difference expected this Friday is a steady stream of calls with a peak between 11pm and 2am.
Supt Pollard added: “Christmas and New Year is traditionally a busy time for the force. 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 in this. This week we’re focussing our Alliance Against Violence campaign on alcohol and crime that takes place in pubs and clubs and we hope this helps reduce the number of victims of this type of crime.
“We don’t want to deter anyone with a real emergency from calling us. If your life or the lives of others are in danger then calling 999 is absolutely the right thing to do. But if it’s for another matter or not an emergency please stop and think about whether you can get the information you need from another source. Our website has a wealth of information on it. Please don’t stop our officers helping someone whose need is greater than yours.”
Previous examples of unnecessary calls include a woman reporting that she had been followed home by a cat, a call to check whether a licence was needed for a tortoise, and a report of someone not going to school.