Essex Police reveals shocking 999 calls as it launches campaign to stop time-wasting

PUBLISHED: 08:00 18 July 2016

A rat in the house, a dog that needs taking home and a late train are just some of the 999 calls received by Essex Police in recent times.

The force today launches its More Time to Fight Crime campaign across the county, designed at cutting down the 400-odd hoax or inappropriate calls it gets each month.

Chief Inspector Glen Pavelin is in charge of Essex Police’s Force Control Room.

“We take a zero-tolerance approach to hoax calls because they stop people who really need us from getting through. Our message is clear: it’s not clever, it’s not funny and it could well end up with you being arrested, fined and imprisoned,” he said as the campaign launched.

“But we also want people to understand what is and isn’t a police matter. We take hundreds of calls every month on issues like noise nuisance or parking problems which can and should be resolved by local partners.”

Essex Police said it had stats showing what it termed a “seasonal spike” in crime in the county during summer months.

As examples, it said theft and anti-social behaviour tended to increase in Braintree from spring to summer, before falling in autumn. Meanwhile, in Tendring, violence against a person, criminal damage, anti-social behaviour and theft also increased from spring to summer before dropping off.

For this reason, the force said it was important its call operators had time to deal with the rise in 999 calls and were not delayed.

There also tends to be more reports of missing people during the summer.

Chief Constable Stephen Kavanagh said: “I have made sure extra resources are available to keep Essex safe this summer, but I need the public to help.

“We get called for everything from an ‘offensive builder’s bum’ to murder and deaths on our roads.”

He said people taking “sensible steps” to keep homes secure, families keeping track of their children at the beach and driving safely all meant fewer incidents and more time for officers to help people truly in need.

The campaign will include social media activity to help people report non-emergency crime online, 24-hour tweetathons revealing what a day in the life of the force looks like and a focus on the proportion of police time spent dealing with incidents where no crime has been committed.

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