From Devon & Cornwall Police:

Devon & Cornwall Police is set to share live real-time updates on hundreds of incidents this Friday as part of a 12-hour tweetathon of every contact received into the Force via 999 and 101.

The event will run from 3pm on Friday 7 July 2023 and will highlight the significant demand the Force faces on a daily basis, giving the public an idea of the variety and volume of calls for assistance received. 

Members of the public can keep up to date with what’s happening on Twitter by following @DC_Police and keeping an eye out for the #ControlRoomLIVE hashtag. 

In the equivalent 12-hour period last year, the Force dealt with 1,570 calls: 762 of these through the emergency 999 line and 739 via the 101 non-emergency number in addition to processing 262 digital contacts. This resulted in the Force creating 561 incidents and recording 151 crimes. 

In the last few weeks, the force has also been busier than ever before receiving over 34,800 calls to 999 in June 2023 alone – an increase of 19 per cent versus June 2022. This is on top of almost 44,000 non-emergency contacts also received in June 2023.

Lucy Baillie, Commander for Contact and Resolution said: “We hope this initiative will give the public an insight into the diverse range of calls that come into the Contact Centre on an average Friday night, which is one of the busier times of the week.

“We regularly receive calls that should not be directed to the police and there are a number of issues that can be dealt with more effectively by contacting us online via our website for non-emergency issues. 

“However, in a typical Friday night the Force also receives reports of very serious matters; including sexual assaults, road traffic collisions, domestic abuse, fights taking place linked to the night-time economy, missing people, support requests from ambulance colleagues and concerns for the welfare of vulnerable people.”

Assistant Chief Constable Nikki Leaper, said: “I am proud of the work our officers and staff do every day, whether handling calls for service from the public, attending incidents, investigating offences or in one of the many support roles that assist us to prevent crime and bring offenders to justice. 

“The vast majority of our demand starts with a phone call to our Contact Centre and by following this initiative, I’m confident you’ll be surprised at the variety and volume of calls we receive.”

Alison Hernandez, Police and Crime Commissioner for Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, said: “I welcome this chance for the public to get a rare insight into how Devon & Cornwall Police receives and handles calls on a busy Friday night. Getting the right information from the caller and being able to direct the most appropriate resources to assist that member of the public is a skilled job and they have to manage multiple requests for assistance at busy times. 

“The force receive over one million requests for service each year through 999 and 101 services as the Force polices one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country.

“Devon & Cornwall Police are working hard to address the challenging waiting times for calls which do not require an emergency response and alternative online methods are available to use via the Police website. 999 emergency calls will always be prioritised.”