ESSEX Police is urging everyone to use the appropriate number if they need to contact officers during the Halloween period.
Members of the public should never hesitate to call 999 in a genuine emergency such as where there is a crime or serious incident in progress, a serious risk of injury or a risk of serious damage to property.
However, if you need to raise a concern or get in touch for advice, then please use the non-emergency number 101.
Claire Heath, Head of Customer Services for the force, said: “Essex Police is here to help everyone in need. However, past experience shows that during the Halloween period the 999 number is used to report matters such as young people ‘Trick or Treating’ in a local area, or pets being scared by fireworks. Such matters are most appropriately reported to police using the non-emergency, 101, number.
“It is very important that the 999 number is kept free so that officers can respond to genuine emergencies as soon as possible. So, this Halloween , we ask everyone to be responsible and help us to help you by using the non-emergency 101 number when appropriate.”
* On an average day Essex Police will answer around three thousand 999 or 101 calls – on Halloween Essex Police answer around 3,500 calls. On average 150 of these extra calls are 999 calls and 300 are 101 calls. The majority of the extra calls are made between 7pm and 10pm.