Police Busier Than Ever

10 July 2018, 12:38 | Updated: 10 July 2018, 12:54

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Devon and Cornwall Police say they're experiencing an unprecedented rise in demand.

Alongside colleagues in Dorset they say it is most likely down to a combination of the hot weather, the World Cup, and a large amount of visitors to the area.

Giving an example, officers told Heart last Saturday was the second busiest day in Devon and Cornwall's history.

They responded to nearly 1,500 incidents, roughly twice what they'd usually see.

Strategic Alliance Commander for Operations, Chief Superintendent Glen Mayhew, said: "Firstly I want to thank my staff and officers across the Alliance who have managed to meet this surge in demand across all areas of policing. Despite the pressure this undoubtedly brings, I am proud of their collective efforts and how they continue to deliver a great service to our public in the face of this unprecedented rise in demand.

"It’s not just Devon, Cornwall and Dorset that is experiencing this rise, this is a pattern that is being reported by forces across the country right now.

"The heatwave, along with the increase in number of visitors to our area and the euphoria of England’s progress in the World Cup has seen demand on the police rise across all areas of policing.

"On top of this, we have the added responsibility of offering mutual aid to our partners in Wiltshire, as well in the capital as part of the Donald Trump visit to the UK.

"But we are also urging the public to take a bit of personal responsibility to help reduce demand on the police service. For example we are still receiving dozens of calls a day because people continue to leave dogs in hot cars during a heatwave.

"We understand that people are incredibly excited over England’s progress in the World Cup and the vast majority are enjoying this safely and responsibly, but we urge that win or lose, people act responsibly and don’t put themselves or other in danger by their actions.

"We are having an increase in demand due those who continue to sit behind the wheel of a car whilst under the influence, or drive the morning after a night out when still over the limit.

"We also ask that people to consider their level of drinking. These hot days leads to dehydration, coupled with people consuming an increased level alcohol has seen a rise in the number of assaults in our towns and cities, and increases the risk of domestic violence taking place in the home.

"Devon, Cornwall and Dorset still remains a safe place to live or visit, but we urge local communities to look out for each other. This weather can lead to health challenges to the young and elderly so please check on your neighbours. Also, many will leave windows and doors open or unlocked to their home and cars which could encourage an opportunist thief; our local neighbourhood watch schemes are more vital than ever.

"We are asking that the public continue to be patient and to work with us. Our website is a great source of information for the public packed with crime prevention advice including Ask Ned, the Non-emergency Database, which has answers to hundreds of questions that the public may have so please click before you call.

"We ask that people only call 999 in a genuine emergency. Please be assured that our alternative methods of police contact including the 101 email are still more than suitable and will receive continue to receive a timely response."