Public urged not to call 999 for non-emergencies

North Yorkshire Police's control room.

North Yorkshire Police is urging the public to think before dialling 999 for non-emergencies over the bank holiday weekend.

Instead the force is asking the public to report them online after seeing a “significant increase in operational demand over the past 48 hours”.

The force said the combination of good weather, the start of half term and an influx in visitors to the county had resulted in a rise in calls.

Staff in the force control room are asking the public to consider the most appropriate way to contact the police. In an emergency dial 999, for non-emergency matters the public should contact the police online via the force’s website www.northyorkshire.police.uk or call 101.

The public can also help the force by staying on the line if an accidental call is made to the emergency services.

In a “pocket dial” situation the 999 operator passes the call to the police.

The call handlers in then have to try and ring back to establish whether it is a genuine emergency.

This then wastes time that could be used for answering genuine 999 or 101 calls.

Superintendent Fiona Willey is Head of Customer Contact at North Yorkshire Police.

Fiona said: “The staff in our Force Control Room are working extremely hard to deal with the increased demand.

“The sunny weather will inevitably lead to more calls so we’re urging the public to consider if their call is necessary and if it’s a non-urgent matter, could it wait until after the weekend.

“It’s also important that members of the public consider which service they need. There are many agencies out there that can offer help and support.

“If it is a genuine emergency then we are here to help. Our staff are trained to triage every call through a threat, risk and harm assessment which leads to that call being prioritised accordingly.

Further details on how to contact North Yorkshire Police can be found here https://www.northyorkshire.police.uk/contact/af/contact-us/