Police respond to surge in demand at Halloween

West Midlands Police received around 500 extra emergency calls in just 24 hours as the force responded to a surge in Halloween demand.

Staff in the Force Contact Centre have been praised for dealing with a huge spike in calls yesterday (Wednesday 31 October).

There were 2,438 calls on the 999 lines – around 500 more the recent daily average – along with 3,023 ringing 101. 

Extra resources were drafted in to cope help with an anticipated rise in concerns around nuisance and anti-social behaviour.

An example of this including reports that a group of youths were setting off fireworks and had set a chicken loose in a shop in Castle Square, Weoley Castle, at around 4.15pm yesterday. The RSPCA were called to take care of the chicken.

Lyndsay Swallow, from Force Contact, said: “We had extra staff in place to deal with the expected increase in calls which usually associate with Halloween but it was a tremendous effort by our staff.

“The sheer number of calls we received yesterday further highlights the pressures on our precious 999 service – particularly at peak periods. It is there for emergency incidents, when people are in danger, or to report crimes that are in progress. 

“If it’s not an emergency then people can call us on the 101 number.

“Our staff did a fantastic job in dealing with the demand we faced yesterday but with the help of the public we can ensure we get to priority jobs quicker.”   

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