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Free up the phones this Christmas

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Think before you call and ClickB4UCall if you can

Throughout the festive period the Devon and Cornwall Police contact centres in Exeter and Plymouth will be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Spare a thought for staff that work there, ordinary people doing an extraordinary job, and also for people who are not confident using our online contact methods, before you call the 101 phone line.

Think carefully whether what you are calling about is a police matter. Classic examples of things which are not for the police to sort out are noisy neighbours, bad parking, abandoned vehicles and littering. If you are not sure, check first with our online directory AskNED which is available here:

If you are reporting a non-emergency crime, use our online crime reporting form here or email and if you have a question use LiveChat from our website. All can be completed immediately by you without having to wait on the phone.

Chief Superintendent Jim Nye said: “Emails to 101 have increased by 26% since the beginning of the year and visits to the online crime reporting facility have increased by 35%. People are finding that it is quicker and more convenient for them to use these online channels.

“People shifting to these channels also frees up the 101 non-emergency phone line for those who genuinely need to use it because they aren’t confident about going online.”

“However there are still some people who aren’t getting the message about when it’s not appropriate to contact the police by calling 101 or 999.”

Some extreme examples of people not thinking before making an "emergency" call to Devon and Cornwall Police have been recorded this year.

The Londoner in the “middle of nowhere” who wanted police to tell him where he could catch his coach to London.

The woman who had called the RAC because the central locking on her car had failed, locking her inside, but then called the police as she was worried about running out of air.

The man who had received the wrong pizza – double cheese instead of pepperoni – who said there’d be an accident if he ate it.

This Christmas please think before you call and, if you can, ClickB4UCall. If you get the wrong takeaway, the police can’t help you.

Read more about what happens in our contact centres.


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Devon & Cornwall Police, Media Office
Police headquarters, Middlemoor

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