Between 1 January and 31 December 2021 the force received a total of 1,504,100 calls from members of the public wanting help.
That equates to 4,120 calls on average every day and is testament to the hard work of all the call handlers and controllers in two call centres in Birmingham and West Bromwich. In addition, officers chatted online to 166,631 people who contacted them via the Live Chat facility through the West Midlands Police website.
More than half of the calls were 999 calls requiring emergency assistance and the rest were made to the non-emergency '101' number. The number of 999 calls received last year is up by almost 10 per cent on 2020 figures. Head of Force Contact, Chief Superintendent Andy Beard, praised the team of call handlers and controllers for their efforts during what’s been a demanding year. He said:
“It’s been a tough year for many people due to Covid and our call centres have not been immune: we’ve had staff members away ill and isolating, Naturally that puts additional pressures on the rest of the team, especially when the call volume is so high. On occasions its meant people have had to wait longer to get through, especially on the non-emergency 101 number.
"I know that can be frustrating but hopefully people have been understanding of the situation. All our call handlers and controllers have been doing their very best to get to every single call and help however they can.
“Answers to many questions put to us over the phone can be found on our website or through a quick internet search, so I would encourage people to look online before calling.
“Plus for non-emergency matters people can message us on Live Chat – that’s often a quicker alternative to phoning 101 – or report low-level crimes and obtain crime numbers by contacting us through our force website.”