Two women from Hull have been arrested on suspicion of making malicious calls to the police after they received dozens of call falsely reporting concerns for their safety
Superintendent Tracy Bradley said the latest calls, which were made over several hours on Sunday, July 14, had tied up valuable resources and could have potentially put others at risk.
“Protecting vulnerable people is at the heart of everything we do, and if we believe someone is at risk, we will do all that we can to find them and help them.
“As it turned out, these callers didn’t really need our help, so the time we spent taking their calls and tracking them down could have been spent dealing with people who were in genuine need.”
The 39 and 22-year-old women have been released under investigation.
The arrests have come as Humberside Police enters its busiest time of year – with an average of 71 calls coming into our Force Control Room every hour.
Between April 2018 and April 2019 the force dealt with 551,073 calls and 29% of these came between June and August.
That’s approximately 1,724 every day compared to the average 1,509 a day we receive at other times of the year.
Superintendent Tracy Bradley said:
“The summer is always a busy time for us – especially when the kids break up for the holidays – but we’re ready for it.
“It’s really important to us that we have the right people in place so that we’re there when you need us, so we plan our time around you.
“For example, our teams don’t take their lunch breaks when the majority of people do, so we have as many people as possible answering the phones when it’s convenient for you to call.
“We also limit the number of people who are able to take time off over the summer and encourage those who can to take their leave at less busy times.
“The weather is nicer, the nights are lighter, and that always leads to an additional demand for us.
“A lot of the additional calls we get are around antisocial behaviour. A lot of it relates to people who have one too many at a barbecue and get into altercations with family or neighbours.
“Others are around things like criminal damage or antisocial behaviour related to young people congregating in public spaces more regularly or in larger numbers than they would during term time.
“However, the majority of the calls we get are about are about keeping people safe.
“In the past, around 70% of what we dealt with was what people would traditionally think of as police business – such as break-ins or violence.
“Now at least 70% of the calls we receive are about concerns for people’s safety – whether that’s because a vulnerable person is missing or the caller is worried about someone’s mental health.
“Being there for those people is always going to be our priority, which is why we’re continually coming up with ways to make it easier for you to report things that may not be as urgent.
“For example, if you come home and find that your shed has been broken into, but it’s clear that whoever has done it has long gone and there are no other concerns, it’s likely that if we do need to come out and see you that we’ll arrange a mutually convenient time.
“You don’t need to ring us to do this – though of course, you can if you’d rather. If you do, you can request a callback, so you’re not hanging on the phone or, you can fill in the form on our website, and we’ll be in touch.
“It’s a similar story if you have information or concerns about something that’s happening in your area.
“This kind of information is vital to us and we want you to keep it coming to us, so we’re making it as easy as possible for you to pass it on.
“As well as giving us a call, you can speak to officers when they’re out and about on the beat or knocking on your door as part of our Humber Talking survey or call into your local station.
“Of course, if you or someone else is in danger or there’s a crime in progress, always call 999.”
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