Help reduce emergency calls this summer

Published: 26 August 2021

Over the summer months, the number of 999 Emergency calls received by Devon & Cornwall Police increases. Already this summer the force has seen a significant increase – in July they received 31,325 calls to 999 – a 18% increase compared with the same time last year. 

On average a 999 Emergency call takes around 10 minutes to resolve. Before ending the call, the contact centre always makes sure the caller is safe and help has been arranged. 

Each day they also receive calls to 999 Emergency which are for non-emergency reasons. These can be to ask questions, report non-emergency issues and even hoax calls.

What to do if you call 999 by mistake?
Unfortunately, the force also receive calls to 999 Emergency which have been made by mistake.
These calls often happen by accident when a child is playing with a smartphone or when an unlocked phone is in a pocket or bag.
If you do dial 999 Emergency by mistake – don’t hang up, please speak to the operator, and tell them you are safe before ending the call.
Every call is logged, so if you hang up, the force must then call you back to make sure you are safe which takes additional time and may prevent them from responding to other 999 calls.