Yorkshire police force run out of prisoner cells with one 999 call every 12 seconds

A Yorkshire police force ran out of prisoner cells with one 999 call received every 12 seconds during an extremely busy New Year's Day, it has been revealed.
A Yorkshire police force ran out of prisoner cells with one 999 call received every 12 seconds during an extremely busy New Year's Day, it has been revealed.
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A Yorkshire police force ran out of prisoner cells with one 999 call received every 12 seconds during an extremely busy New Year's Day, it has been revealed.

South Yorkshire Police had to send prisoners to custody suites in neighbouring West Yorkshire and Humberside due to the unprecedented demand.

Figures released by the force have revealed it received 2,647 calls to its command centre in Atlas Court on New Year's Day, an increase of 348 on 2019.

Between 11pm on New Year's Eve and 5am on New Year's Day, we were called 1,014 times - 699 of which were to 999.

Calls regarding public disorder, violence and criminal damage generated particularly high demand.

Assistant Chief Constable Lauren Poultney said: "There is no doubt our teams were working extremely hard overnight into New Year's Day, both within Atlas Court and out in our communities, to keep people safe.

"What is disappointing is that some of the calls which came into us simply wasted our time and prevented us from directing our resources towards those who truly needed us. For example, we received a number of calls shortly after midnight from young people who were laughing down the phone. They clearly thought it was a big joke and failed to realise the potentially serious consequences of their actions. "

Between 1.15am and 1.30am on New Year's Day, the force received some 88 calls to 999 - more than five calls every minute, or one every 12 seconds.

ACC Poultney said: "Busy nights like New Year's Eve are always challenging for our call handlers.

"Our message regarding calling the police is clear: call us in a genuine emergency and your call will always be answered and prioritised.

"Those who call in a non-emergency, particularly on typically busy nights like this, will face a longer wait for their call to be dealt with. Please think before you call - and remember you can also report certain crimes online, as well as reporting other incidents, submitting complaints and enquiring about lost or found property."