Superintendent Emma Taylor at Cheadle Heath Police Station writes:
I would like to take this opportunity to update you on some of the recent issues the police have been experiencing as a result of the football World Cup, various other major sporting events, the visit of President Trump to the UK and the excellent weather we have all been enjoying. Since 25th June we have had high volumes of 999 calls each week, the most notable of which was on 7th July when these exceeded New Year’s Eve.
As emergency calls were prioritised, waiting times for non emergency 101 calls also increased. At one stage, all officer rest days were cancelled and officers were working 12 hour shifts in order to get us back on track.
As you know, GMP are constantly looking at ways to improve our service, especially with the ever increasing demands on our services, and have recently introduced LiveChat. Members of the public can now speak with GMP online with LiveChat
By using LiveChat we will now be able to pick up quick queries, deal with multiple people at once and ultimately free up space on 101 and 999 for those who really need us.
LiveChat can be used between 8am and midnight to:
· Report a crime
· Give police information about their local area
· Get an update on a crime they have already reported
· Ask an advisor anything police related
LiveChat has been running since December as a pilot and enables us to listen to and work with communities to give them the most efficient service possible. During the pilot, LiveChat saw 14,237 conversations take place for anything from noise complaints and neighbour disputes right up to disclosures of domestic abuse and modern slavery.
How else can we help people?
· Our website – www.gmp.police.uk has lots of useful information for the public. In addition, there’s also an FAQs section that looks at the simple issues people get in touch with us about most often. By making people aware of these pages we might just get someone the help that they need a bit faster and save us a phone call.
· Other organisations – are police the best people to help someone? Taking five minutes to direct someone who asks for help to the most appropriate service gets them the help that they need as quickly as possible and again, could save us a phone call.
Can you please help us to remind people…
· 101 should only be used when a crime has already happened and someone wants to report it. It is not a one-stop shop or a way into the organisation.
· 999 should only be used when a crime is in progress or there’s a threat to life or property