Police - more time to fight crime


Today we launch a new campaign to ask the public to give us #MoreTimeToFightCrime.

Up to 400 hoax or inappropriate 999 calls every month could cause serious harm or death if they prevent us from hearing about real life emergencies.

We have published recordings of inappropriate, hoax and abusive 999 phone calls to highlight the problem. The calls include a man phoning 999 to complain that there is a rat in his house and someone else calling simply to swear at police.

Chief Inspector Glen Pavelin who is in charge of our Force Control Room, said: “We take a zero-tolerance approach to hoax calls because they stop people who really need us from getting through. Our message is clear: it’s not clever, it’s not funny and it could well end up with you being arrested, fined and imprisoned.

“But we also want people to understand what is and isn’t a police matter. We take hundreds of calls every month on issues like noise nuisance or parking problems which can and should be resolved by local partners like councils. We will always try and help but especially at summertime our resources can be stretched. Knowing how to do things like report non-emergency crime online will give us more time to fight crime.”

The campaign comes as new police figures revealed a “seasonal spike” in crime which Essex sees in summertime before the figures fall back in autumn. The force also experiences a summer increase in so-called ‘non-crime’ incidents such as missing people.

Chief Constable Stephen Kavanagh said: “Not all crime is preventable but there are things I need people to do this summer to give us more time to fight crime during a period when we know demand for our help tends to increase. Taking sensible steps to keep your home secure, keeping track of where your children are at the beach and driving safely mean fewer incidents and more time for highly trained officers to help people in need. We’ll be giving out that information across the summer.

“I have made sure extra resources are available to keep Essex safe this summer, but I need the public to help. We get called for everything from an ‘offensive builder’s bum’ to murder and deaths on our roads: if we can raise awareness of the non-policing matters that can be better resolved elsewhere we free up time and people to tackle the issues we know communities really need us for.”

The campaign will include social media activity to help people report non-emergency crime online; a new interactive online game which asks players to decide how police should respond to a range of real-life incidents; 24-hour “tweetathons” revealing what a day in the life of the force looks like; and a focus on the proportion of police time spent dealing with incidents where no crime has been committed.

For more information on our campaign #MoreTimeToFightCrime please visit:


Back to recent news