People are being urged to consider using alternative methods of contacting Suffolk Police as part of the force’s latest campaign.
The Contact and Control Room (CCR) continues to receive high volumes of calls particularly at weekends and during holiday periods and with the surge in calls, this can inevitably mean there is an impact on waiting times.
Instead of waiting on the phone, residents can go to the force’s website and report non-urgent crime online by clicking the “report something” button. The matter will then be dealt with in the same way as a call to 101 – It may even be quicker and more convenient.
Chief Inspector Nigel Huddlestone said: “We’re already dealing with lots of enquiries via email and want to continue to encourage more people to consider heading online rather than calling 101.
“While we realise that some people will prefer speaking to us rather than heading to the internet, we want to reassure the public by confirming that all of the online enquiries are dealt with in the same way as a call and residents receive the same level of service.
“We would like to encourage those who are able to report online to try our service as we believe it is not only the most effective means of reporting crime or providing information, but it also creates capacity within the control room and allows us to answer calls from our most vulnerable residents as quickly as possible.
“Some of the calls we receive into the control room are for information or advice only. Most of the answers to these questions can be found on our website.”
Tim Passmore, Police and Crime Commissioner for Suffolk, said: “Times change and the way people choose to communicate changes too, so I am pleased to see the constabulary actively encouraging people to report non-urgent crime online if they prefer to do so.
“So much of our interaction with commercial companies and banks is now online, it makes sense for the police to make this option the first choice for those who prefer to engage electronically. I can assure you, you will receive the same level of service that you’d get if you call – but without the inconvenience of waiting, which is inevitable during busy periods when high volumes of calls are coming through to the control room.
“There has been significant investment in the constabulary’s website over the past couple of years to enable online reporting, the site is also a source of useful information and advice including crime prevention and news updates. If you have not had a look before, please take some time to scroll through – I’m sure you will be impressed.”
The online service is available as an alternative to calling 101 for non-emergency matters. Please remember that residents should always call 999 when an emergency is ongoing, such as when a crime is in progress or when life is in danger.
To report something, visit: http://www.suffolk.police.uk/contact-us
For advice regarding crime prevention, anti-social behaviour, animal protection and many other matters, head to: http://www.suffolk.police.uk/advice
During the campaign, a number of tweets and messages will be posted on the force’s social media accounts. Follow @SuffolkPolice and use the hashtag #ClickBeforeYouCall or “like” Suffolk Constabulary’s Facebook page.
The demand on the Contact and Control Room (CCR) from April 1 to August 31, this year.
Total 999 call volume – 40,671
Per day average 999 calls – 265.82
Total number of 101 calls into switchboard – 88,381
Per day average 101 calls – 577.65
Total volume of calls involving crime matters – 12,682
Total number of crimes reported online – 8,683