Essex Police Tweetathon: Ringing 999 as your hair straighteners have been stolen……

FROM 6am, Friday July 22 to 6am, Friday, July 23, Essex Police held a live 24-hour Tweetathon from our Force Control Room (FCR) to give people an insight into the incidents, enquiries and issues they receive via the emergency 999 and non-emergency 101 services.

During the 24-hour period, 937 emergency calls to 999 were received by FCR and 3,000 non-emergency calls to 101 were dealt with by the switchboard.

Using the hashtag #FCRLIVE, over 330 tweets were sent out during the Tweetathon which included replies to many questions and comments received by members of the public.

The event reached more than 1.5m Twitter users online, with people from across the UK viewing the tweets.

Some of the most memorable calls received were:

– Victim giving statement in police station calls 101 to get air conditioning turned down while waiting for officers to return.

– 999 caller mislaid hair straighteners last week and now thinks they may be stolen.

– 101 call from man wanting to know why he rang police yesterday as "he’d had a few beers" and couldn’t remember.

– Man calling from outside Southend police station asking to be arrested, despite having not committed a crime.

– 999 call from entertainment venue. Reporting that stag party has stolen a taxi and are driving it around a car park.

– Argument between friends ‘bubbles over’ and results in blow up jacuzzi being thrown at front door.

– An abandoned 999 call came in so we called back to check all OK. A child’s phone had gone off in his pocket as he played football.

– Details put out over radio to officers for attention to a vehicle where driver spotted inhaling gas from a balloon on M25.

– Drunk man with no top on shouting abuse to people in a park in Billericay while clutching bottle of red wine.

– Police, Ambulance + Coastguard services working together to assist person in sea. Person rescued – officers wet.

In addition, the force received hundreds of reports of much more serious matters; including burglaries, violent incidents taking place linked to the night-time economy, missing people, support requests from ambulance and concerns for the welfare of vulnerable people.

Inspector Sarah Harding said: "We are really pleased with the positive response to the Tweetathon and I hope it has provided the public with an insight into our demand and response issues as well as demonstrating the different types and volumes of incidents received by our call handlers.

"Some of the incidents we tweeted may be humorous but they come with a serious message – for every inappropriate 999 call we receive, someone who urgently needs our help is kept waiting on the line.”

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