Drunks ring 999 to wish police a very Happy New Year

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Drunks ringing 999 to wish Northumbria Police a Happy New Year were among an increase in calls to the emergency service on New Year’s Eve.

More than 1,400 calls were made to the call centres between 10pm on New Year’s Eve and 7am the following day, including some who had had too much to drink and rang to wish the police a Happy New Year.

It resulted in 320 more calls than over the same period at the start of 2017, with 631 coming into the 999 number.

However, despite the increase in demand, police say all emergency calls were answered without any delay.

Chief Inspector Paul Stewart has praised his staff for putting in a fantastic New Year’s shift, but he has also said there was still a number of inappropriate calls.

He said: “New Year’s Eve is always one of those evenings when we expect it to be busy, with the demand on our calls centres almost doubling at this time of year.

“This year it was particularly busy, but our staff did a great job in making sure that everyone who called the emergency number was answered in a timely fashion.

“However, we did still have a number of calls about non-police matters, including a number of people who had had a bit to drink and wanted to wish our staff a Happy New Year.

“As much as we appreciate their kind words, it does all add up and it could lead to a delay for other people calling about a genuine police matter.

“We also received calls about loud house parties and noisy fireworks displays.”

“At this time of year we expect those types of calls, and unless linked to disorder, they are not matters for police.

“If people want to report a noise complaint then they need to contact their local council, which can then take action if it is appropriate.

“All of this information is on our website and we would always encourage the public to look there first before taking the decision to call police. It may save your time, as well as ours.”

To find the best contact number for something you want to report then visit www.northumbria.police.uk/contact In an emergency, or for when a crime is in action, always dial 999.