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REPORT CRIME ONLINEEMERGENCY CALL 999
REPORT CRIME ONLINEEMERGENCY CALL 999

Reminder to be responsible when contacting police during extreme weather

27 Feb 2018
  • Hertfordshire Constabulary is reminding people to be responsible when contacting police during the predicted severe weather.
  • When snow hit the county in December last year, people called 999 to ask for advice on the best travel routes for their journeys.
  • Using 999 or 101 for something that is not a policing matter ties up our busy call handlers and may delay getting help to those who are in real need of police assistance.
  • For the latest travel information see the Highways England website and following Hertfordshire County Council's Twitter account @herts_highways.

Ahead of snow that is predicted to hit the county this week, Hertfordshire Constabulary is reminding people to be responsible when contacting police.

Superintendent Mike Trotman from the Constabulary’s Force Control Room (FCR) said: “When severe weather hits there is obviously additional pressures on the emergency services so it is important to ensure that you use the emergency 999 number and 101 non-emergency number responsibly.

“When snow came our way in December last year, we received more than 600 extra 999 calls in one day and a significant amount were not in relation to emergency incidents. Some people were calling to ask our extremely busy call handlers for advice on the best travel routes.

“Using 999 or 101 for something that is not a policing matter ties up our call handlers and may delay getting help to those who are in real need of police assistance.

“There are other agencies and organisations that you should go to for travel advice such as Highways England and you can follow Hertfordshire County Council’s highways Twitter account @herts_highways for the latest information on gritting and travel disruption.

“I’m sure you’re aware that when severe weather hits we see an increase in calls for assistance so it’s even more important that people do not call us for matters that should not involve the police. Never call 999 if it’s not a genuine emergency.

“Always dial 999 if:

  • Someone is injured, being threatened or is in danger.
  • There is a risk of injury to someone or a risk of serious damage to property.
  • A crime is in progress or you suspect a crime is in progress.
  • There is a serious incident which needs immediate police attendance.
  • Someone suspected of a crime is nearby.“When there is no immediate threat to life or property please make use of our online options, which include a web chat facility to speak directly to a communications operator http://www.herts.police.uk/contact_us/contacting_us.aspx or call 101.”

 

Typical examples of when you should contact us online or call 101 include: 

  • If you want to give police information about a crime that is not currently in progress.
  • To contact a local police officer, such as someone from your Safer Neighbourhood team.
  • If your property has been stolen or damaged but it is not a crime in progress.
  • If you suspect drug dealing or use in your area.

 

To help people stay safe during the extreme weather we’re issuing the following advice:

  • Avoid non-essential journeys and only drive in heavy snow or icy conditions if you really have to. 
  • At evening and morning peak commuting times employers and individuals should considering staggering their journeys. 
  • If you have to travel you should reduce speeds, allow extra time for your journey and leave a greater distance between you and the car in front. 
  • Motorists should ensure windows and lights are clean and free from snow or ice cover before they set off. 
  • You should ensure that you have warm weather proof clothing with you, as well as food and drink and, ideally, a shovel and torch.

 

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