Missing tortoise and broken bread bin among calls to South Yorkshire Police

Calls to report a missing tortoise and a broken bread bin were among those received by South Yorkshire Police in May.

By Steve Jones
Tuesday, 9th June 2020, 5:01 pm
Updated Tuesday, 9th June 2020, 5:12 pm

The force revealed its Atlas Court contact centre answered no fewer than 2,903 calls on VE Day last month – 256 more than on New Year’s Day, which is the day they traditionally receive the highest number of calls.

Of those, 951 were 999 calls, 1,834 were 101 calls and a further 118 calls came from colleagues at other emergency services requesting assistance.

Head of force communications superintendent Becs Horsfall urged people to think before they call the police.

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South Yorkshire Police's call handling centre in Sheffield.

She said: “The warm weather we all enjoyed in May is likely to have played a part in the huge number of calls we received on VE Day. We were also continuing to receive calls seeking clarity over Covid-19 guidance and restrictions around social gatherings and social distancing.

“Amongst the genuine calls for service this May, we continued to see people calling about things that simply aren’t for the police to deal with.”

The force received 16,909 999 calls and 30,256 101 calls in May, with the average wait time for a 101 call being three minutes and six seconds.

Superintendent Horsfall added: “I agree on the face of it, a call from someone complaining about a broken bread bin they ordered online may seem amusing, but waiting in the queue behind that person is likely to be someone who genuinely needs our help or support.”