Cumbria Police are launching a campaign to raise awareness of the different policing services available and to ensure people get the right response and information for the right situation.
There are many different ways members of the public can get in contact with the police, but certain channels are more suitable depending on the nature and urgency of the problem.
The aim of the campaign is to raise awareness of how people can get the response or information they need more effectively. As a result, it is hoped that unnecessary demand on the service will be reduced.
Chief Superintendent Steve Johnson said “We always encourage people to dial 999 straight away in an emergency, but we want to make sure they realise that there are other ways to contact police when an immediate response is not required.
“There is a lot of information on our website, and this can be a much more convenient way of getting information and finding out what is going on in the county or a certain area in particular.
“We also aim to highlight where the police aren’t the correct agency to contact for a solution. For instance when someone finds a stray dog, has a parking problem or wants to report lost property – these aren’t matters for the police and we want to educate the public on where they should go instead, and how they should contact the correct organisation.
“And we are going to ask people to really think before they pick up the phone. We get many people call us to ask for the number of a taxi firm or to ask directions, and we even recently had a caller ask what temperature they should put the oven on to cook a chicken. This may seem amusing, but it could have prevented us from speaking to someone who required an urgent response.
“Without all the misdirected calls, officers will have even more time to focus on tackling crime and anti-social behaviour, and responding to those who really need our help.”
Cumbria Police also have an updated website (still found at www.cumbria.police.uk) which will continue to feature the latest news and information about the policing service and county. It will also give easy-to-follow advice on who to contact and how to contact them for a range of specific queries, and offer the new facility of reporting a non-emergency crime online.
The average visits to the website is just over 40,000 a month.
As part of the campaign, information leaflets and cards will be distributed to local police desks, and our social media feeds will focus on directing people towards the most appropriate service for their needs, with the #PolicingCumbria.
Chief Superintendent Johnson added “It’s really important for both the public and the service that people direct their problems to the right place – it’s about helping us to help you.”
Social media and the Community Messaging Service – is continuously updated with the latest news, appeals, safety information and crime prevention advice.
Police website – This also gives detailed information about crime prevention and safety advice, as well the latest news, information about the police, and the new additions as mentioned above.
Police stations and desks – These give people the chance to speak to someone face to face, with desks being held regularly in local communities where there isn’t a station. This would be the right place to go to make a statement, to speak to a local officer or for some crime prevention advice.
101 – This should be used when a crime has been committed but an immediate response is not required. For example if your house has been burgled, your car has been stolen or your property has been damaged. These calls are now answered by police officers.
999 – This is to be used in an emergency situation and when an immediate response is required. This means that life is in danger, violence is being used or threatened, or a crime is in progress.Police launch campaign to raise awareness of policing services available