Over the summer months, the number of 999 Emergency calls received by Devon & Cornwall Police increases. Already this summer the force has seen a significant increase – in July it received 31,325 calls to 999 – a 18% increase compared with the same time last year.
On average a 999 Emergency call takes around 10 minutes to resolve. Before ending the call, the contact centre always makes sure the caller is safe and help has been arranged.
Each day calls are also received to 999 Emergency which are for non-emergency reasons. These can be to ask questions, report non-emergency issues and even hoax calls. Answering these calls prevents helping someone in a real emergency.
As part of this year’s summer contacting the police campaign, Devon & Cornwall Police is reminding its communities about when they should contact the police in an emergency and what to do if they dial 999 by mistake.
When to call 999 Emergency
It is important everyone understands when to call 999 Emergency. Only dial 999 Emergency if:
- Life is at risk
- People are injured
- Offenders are nearby
- Immediate action is required to save lives, stop injury, or catch criminals
If you need to speak to the police for any other reasons, please use one of its online non-emergency contact channels or call 101.
What to do if you call 999 by mistake?
Unfortunately, calls to 999 Emergency are received which have been made by mistake. These calls often happen by accident when a child is playing with a smartphone or when an unlocked phone is in a pocket or bag. If you do dial 999 Emergency by mistake – don’t hang up, please speak to the operator, and tell them you are safe before ending the call. Every call is logged, so if you hang up, a call back must be made to make sure you are safe which takes additional time and may prevent the operators responding to other 999 calls.