North Yorkshire Police are urging the public to avoid unnecessary 999 calls after receiving nearly 10,000 calls in July, an average of more than 300 every day.

That’s the highest call volumes for a one-month period ever recorded by the force.

Typically 999 calls rise by around 25 per cent in the summer months, with hot weather often cited as the cause for this spike. The hottest day of 2019 so far, 29th June, resulted in nearly 400 calls to North Yorkshire Police from across the county, double the usual number.


Call volumes continue to rise year-on-year with May and June showing the highest number of 999 calls since 2010. Demand for the non-emergency 101 number also remains high with around 18,000 calls received each month.

Bank holidays always result in around 50 per cent more calls to 999 than on any normal day and with the August bank holiday weekend fast approaching, police are asking people to make sure they are aware when and which number to call.

  • If crime is ongoing or there is danger to life, always call 999
  • To report crime which has already happened, call 101.

‘Please think twice’

The force control room. Photograph: North Yorkshire Police
North Yorkshire Police control room manager Jane Larkin explains why it’s so important that the public don’t call 999 and 101 unnecessarily:

  • Calls continue to increase every month, placing more and more demand on resources.

    There are many examples where a call to 999 is not an emergency – whether a hoax, accidental call or details of a crime which has already happened that could have been reported via 101.

    Unnecessary 999 calls significantly impact on our ability to deal with genuine emergencies so I’d really ask the public to think twice before picking up the phone and dialling.

She acknowledged that it can be difficult to know which number is the most appropriate to call or which is the most appropriate agency to deal with your enquiry “so we want to help people understand when to call or when to seek advice elsewhere”.

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Key North Yorkshire Police phone stats

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999 calls

  • July 2019 has seen the force control room deal with 9,852 999 calls. This is the highest volume ever seen for a one month period in North Yorkshire
  • Calls to 999 in May and June 2019 are at their highest volume since 2010
  • Since January 2019, more than 2,700 hoax calls have been made to 999 in North Yorkshire
  • Around 5 per cent of all calls to 999 are referred to another agency
  • On the hottest day of the year so far, 29th June, police received 391 calls to 999. Around 200 calls are received on an average day
  • There’s been a 30% national increase in 999 calls in the last five years
  • Around 8 per cent of all calls to 999 are advice only, with no incident needing to be logged
  • Calls to 999 increase by around 50 per cent over an average bank holiday weekend

101 calls

  • Around 30,000 calls to 101 are dealt with by North Yorkshire Police’s force control room every month
  • The average wait time for a call to 101 is between one and two minutes
  • Those using the ‘queue buster’ function when calling 101 receive a call back 13 – 15 minutes after they call