From Devon & Cornwall Police:
Devon & Cornwall Police are reminding people that might need non-emergency help and advice over the summer months to consider using their online contact channels whenever possible.
The timely reminder comes at the start of the summer school holidays as it is expected the number of people visiting and staying in Devon and Cornwall over the next few months will increase significantly and therefore the number of people needing to contact the police may also rise.
Last week, the force received around 24,000 telephone calls or digital contacts into 999 Emergency and 101 Non-Emergency.
Unfortunately, this increase in people needing help impacts on waiting times when calling the 101 Non-Emergency number. The force is advising anyone wishing to contact the police should consider using the online options whenever possible.
There are many online ways to contact the police including Email 101, WebChat and reporting crime through the online crime reporting form.
Every contact received about a policing issue is answered by a member of the contact centre whether it’s through the online channels or by phone. So whichever way people choose to contact the police, #ItsPersonal.
Chief Superintendent Ian Drummond-Smith, Head of Contact and Command Resolution said: “We have already been seeing an increase in emergency and non-emergency demand during the early part of the summer and we are anticipating this will continue to rise throughout July and August.
“Our online channels – Email 101, WebChat and Report Crime Online, are simple and easy to use and provide an alternative to calling. They can also be accessed easily 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
“Our contact centres manage the majority of contact we receive as a force – and we try to respond to every contact as soon as we can. So, whichever way you choose to contact us, your query will be handled by a person.
“Over the summer, we would ask members of the public to consider using our online methods and try and keep the phone lines free for people without internet access.
“In an emergency – where life is at risk, a crime is in progress or offenders are close by, always call 999.”