Sussex Police are reminding residents that the decisions they make when choosing how to report a crime could be the difference between saving a life or not.
It is vital our phone lines are kept clear for people who need to contact us during a genuine emergency and need our assistance urgently.
But it is not just for emergencies where it is important that the phone lines are kept clear. Some of the most vulnerable members of our community, like the elderly who may have not have access to the internet, will call us to report non-emergencies.
Please be considerate when choosing how to report a non-emergency with Sussex Police so every resident can access the same levels of good service.
There are many other advantages to reporting online which could be more beneficial to you.
Rather than relaying an account of your report to a contact officer, you can submit a comprehensive account which can be done at your leisure where it may be more beneficial to reflect in a considered way on an incident’s details.
The force does experience a high volume of calls, particularly to our 101 number, so by reporting online you do not need to spend time waiting in a queue to contact us.
One of the most common misconceptions about reporting online is that reports aren’t seen or triaged by a contact officer. You can be reassured that all reports online or via email or indeed social media are assessed by one of our skilled contact officers – the very same people who you would normally speak to if you called 101.
Before you log an incident report with police, it’s imperative you ensure that it is in fact a police matter. Much valuable time is lost on reports which could be directed to other agencies, including councils and housing associations who will be in a better place to respond to you quickly and efficiently.
Chief Superintendent Rosie Ross oversees our contact centre and explains why it is vital people choose the right method of communication when reporting a non-emergency to us.
She said: “We are asking the people of Sussex to self-prioritise how important their call is and whether the same report can be made online. It is imperative that the lines are kept clear for people who are calling in a genuine emergency and need our assistance urgently or for people who don’t have access to the internet.
“Our contact officers experience high-levels of calls throughout the summer so now is a good time for people to change their reporting method for non-emergencies. I want to reassure people that reports made online are also triaged by a human. All reports are triaged by the same staff in the contact centre irrespective of whether it has been made online or by calling 101, so the public can expect the same levels of good service.
“It is quicker for them to deal with online reports and phone lines are not tied up taking basic details like the name and address, which are easily completed on the online system. It is these valuable seconds that can make a difference and even save lives when it comes to us being able to answer a 999 call.”