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Tuesday March 9th 2021

Is it a policing matter? Think twice before calling 999.

surrey-police-logoSurrey Police has launched a county-wide advertising campaign asking the public to think twice before they call and consider ‘Is it a Policing Matter?’

 Demand is changing and as part of the Policing In Your Neighbourhood project we are focussing on being where we are needed most – focussing on serious and complex crime. Surrey Police is aiming to improve public knowledge about what is and what is not something which the police should be dealing with. If it is a policing matter then residents are being asked to consider if it is an emergency or not.

 Deputy Chief Constable Gavin Stephens said: “As part of our Policing In Your Neighbourhood project, we have already explained how our demand is increasing, for example over the last three years we have seen a 153% increase in reports of rape, a 122% increase in reports of sexual offences, a 34% increase in reports of domestic violence and a 75% increase in the reports of violence with injury offences. In light of this, we need to invest more, supporting the most vulnerable people in our communities.

 “Last year we dealt with 10,270 requests that should have been dealt with in a different way or by a more appropriate agency. In most cases we know that members of the public don’t know who to call and so they call us. But instances of things such as fly-tipping, inconsiderate parking and noise pollution are all things for your local Council to deal with while concerns regarding mental health issues are generally more appropriately dealt with by a health care provider.

 “If a call is a policing matter we are also using this campaign to highlight the difference between what is an emergency and what is not. Calls to 999 should only be made for serious crimes, crimes in action or if someone’s life is in danger. If it is a policing matter but does not fall into those categories we ask the public to report online or call 101 anytime.”