Yesterday Manchester Police experimented by “tweeting” about every call they received into their 999 call centre. Was it a cynical attempt to influence the Government not to cut Police budgets, as many commentators suggested, or an exercise in “challenging demand” organised by their Call Centre Manager?
Many of our clients use us to handle overflow calls from their own centres and we always suggest to them to analyse the calls they are getting to see if it is possible to service their callers in ways that don’t involve a phone call.
Yesterdays tweets highlighted that the 999 service is being used for many purposes other than true emergency calls, as Chief Constable Peter Fahy said “We do get calls that are not directly related to our police work such as calls from people with relationship breakdowns, confused people, or sometimes we have callers who just can’t deal with the problems life throws at them.”
Manchester Police’s twitter feeds spurned a number of amusing spoof sites. Some of the spoofs got me chuckling for example, MP24_0′s reports included;
Call 009 – Reported missing child turned up at school. Parents “didn’t think to look there”. Fair enough. #gmp24
Call 002 – Reports of an ice cream vendor dead; found to have been covered in chocolate sauce and nuts. We reckon he’s topped himself #gmp24
Some of the strangest calls seemed to be some of the real ones;
Call 912 Information regarding an annoying letter #gmp24
Call 849 – Attempted theft of a caravan, could have happened anytime in the past two weeks, Rochdale #gmp24
I wonder if yesterday’s publicity will have the desired effect of making people think twice before dialling 999 today. Or was the whole episode simply to do with making sure the government don’t cut Police budgets too hard?