31 March 2020
Derbyshire Police Federation chair Tony Wetton has expressed his frustration at time being wasted by non-urgent calls to the police control room.
Some of those calls have asked questions like: ‘Can I walk my dog twice a day?’ and ‘Can I move house?’.
Tony says these incidents are putting unnecessary pressure on phonelines at a time when officers and staff are already facing some unprecedented challenges because of the COVID-19 outbreak.
Officers have also had to deal with a large breach of the Government’s new restrictions on travel and gatherings when they broke up a party in Normanton over the weekend which saw 25 adults and children enjoying a buffet and karaoke.
“Now, more than ever, is a time when our members want to be helping the public and the community’s most needy groups,” says Tony.
“What they don’t need is people flagrantly flouting the Government rules by having a party or wasting the time of call-handling staff with non-urgent issues.
“Derbyshire officers are facing new challenges every day and we would rather work closely with members of the public, than against them.
“Common sense is key. There are various websites and media outlets with answers to some of the questions our call handlers are having to deal with.
“And, as for the restrictions on travel and gatherings, the Government has introduced them for a reason and that is to help the NHS and save lives. These are not a request, people need to adhere to them.”
Tony said, however, that the overwhelming majority of people have complied with the measures and added that messages of support from the public had had a hugely positive effect on officers and staff.
“Numerous cards and thank you letters have been sent to Derbyshire Police over the past couple of weeks and we are very grateful for every bit of support we get,” said Tony. “We have been truly touched. Believe me, they are always well read and put smiles on the faces of officers who are doing everything they can to keep the county safe.”