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Heat sparks more 999 calls than New Year's Eve, police reveal

By Mike Woods | News | Published:

Hot weather has triggered a huge increase in 999 calls to police, with more people ringing on Sunday than on New Year's Eve.

People relax in traditional deck chairs on the beach at Barry Island, South Wales

West Midlands Police say the increase is down to people drinking more alcohol and spending more time outdoors, with 2,840 people calling the emergency number on Sunday.

That compared to the 2,727 on New Year's Eve, which is traditionally the busiest day. Police have warned to only use 999 in an emergency, as they released details of some of the inappropriate calls.

But the warning came as it emerged that the relentless heat is set to be replaced by thunder, rain and maybe even hail across the West Midlands.

Force Contact Manager Ch Insp Gareth Mason said: "We often see an increase in demand during hot weather; it’s difficult to identify a single cause. However, more people tend to spend time outside resulting in more antisocial behaviour reports, alcohol intakes increase and tempers can fray more easily in the heat.

"West Midlands Police is working incredibly hard to answer and resource these additional calls for service.

"At times like this it’s really important that people don’t clog up our phone lines and waste call handers’ time with trivial matters or questions that could be answered with a quick internet search.

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"We need to prioritise calls so we can quickly reach people in urgent need of police support or to scenes where crimes are in progress.

"It may be that people reporting non-emergency matters have to wait a little longer than normal to see an officer and we thank them for their understanding."

On Monday, the number of 999 calls fell to 2,410 - compared to a daily average of just fewer than 2,000.

Elsewhere, the scorching conditions are being enjoyed by businesses.

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Midland Super Cream, based in Bull Street, Brierley Hill, saw a 50 per cent increase in sales compared to last Monday.

The firm employs 12 people and produces lollies and ice creams for shops, ice cream vans and members of the public.

Sue Calleia, who works in the company's sales department, said: "People didn't want the orders last Monday, but today people can't get enough.

"The sales are up around 50 per cent from last week."

She added: "The ice pops seems the most popular at the moment. Anything to cool people down in the heat.

"The warm weather, it is obviously welcomed by our business."

The usual places were packed with people basking in the sun yesterday.

People took advantage of the splash park at Walsall Arboretum, the splash pad at Dartmouth Park in West Bromwich and Tettenhall Pool, near Wolverhampton.

Mother Tracy Hannon, 40, from Oxley, turned up at Tettenhall Pool yesterday morning. She said: "We decided to get there early before it got busy to put our feet in the pool, it was lovely.

"Just when we finished it was starting to get busy. When the sun comes out, it really lights up this area, I love it."

There was, however, a warning from the Canal and River Trust over people using canals and rivers to cool down.

The trust said 400 people drown in the waterways each year.

Tony Stammers, who is in charge of the trust's safety team, said: "We’re asking people to find another way to cool off this summer – have an ice cream, stay in the shade, go for a swim at your local pool."

Mike Woods

By Mike Woods
Head of Editorial Digital Content, Midland News Association - @MikeWoods_Star

Taking charge of Express & Star and Shropshire Star's online editorial growth

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