People are being urged to ensure they only dial 999 if they need to speak to the police in an emergency – and ensure phone lines are freed up for those who do need immediate help.
In June 2021, South Wales Police received its highest-ever monthly total of 999 calls, at 21,501.
But this month is on track to break that record, with almost 16,500 emergency calls having been received during the first three weeks of the month – or an average of 33 calls every hour of the day.
The force’s Public Service Centre has also received more than 29,100 non-emergency calls over the same time period, an average of a further 58 calls an hour.
To make getting in touch with the police more convenient, and to help alleviate demand, a number of digital contact methods have been set up to help people contact South Wales Police when it’s not an emergency. These include online crime-reporting tools via the South Wales Police website, direct messages on Facebook and Twitter, as well as emails to our control room.
The non-emergency 101 line is also available, although many people will prefer to contact the force via digital contact channels.
Chief Constable Jeremy Vaughan said: “Our teams of call handlers, digital contact teams, and dispatchers are working incredibly hard, day and night, to be there for people in need.
“Demand so far this summer has been exceptionally high – in June this year we received almost 6,000 more emergency calls than in June 2020, and 3,600 more than in June 2019 – and we are doing what we can to ensure we can prioritise those who require the police’s help in an emergency.
“For those who don’t need to call, our digital desk responds to emails, online crime reports, and social media DMs on a 24/7 basis.”
He added: “Totalling up the total number of calls and digital contacts, we’ve received around 60,000 contacts during the first three weeks of July.
“Of course, we are always here and we will always help those who need us most. But we’re asking people to remember that 999 is for when a crime is in progress or if someone is in immediate danger.
“And if it’s not 999, remember that you can do it online.
“To contact South Wales Police when it’s not an emergency, you can visit https://www.south-wales.police.uk/contact/af/contact-us/, email [email protected], send us a private message on one of our branded Facebook or Twitter accounts, or call 101. If it is an emergency, call 999.”