Met Police Handled 4.5 Million Calls in 2014

"I could hear screaming and shouting..."

A total of 4,576,521 calls were answered by the Met's team of call operators at MetCC, the UK's largest police command and control unit.

Of those 1,767,414 were 999 emergency calls with the reminder, 2,809,107, coming in via the 101 telephone number.

A total of 482,255 were designated as 'I' grade, requiring an immediate emergency response. The Met's target is to respond to those calls within 15 minutes 90 per cent of the time - in fact officers met that target 92.6 per cent of the time.

Each emergency call was answered in an average time of five seconds, each 101 call in an average of ten seconds.

Christmas Day 2014 saw 5,868 calls (3,199 emergency, 2,669 non-emergency), Boxing Day 7,701 calls (3,870 emergency, 3,831 non-emergency) and New Year's Eve 12,913 calls (6,499 emergency, 6,414 non-emergency).

The busiest day of the year was Halloween, Friday, 31 October, with 18,417 calls (8,657 emergency, 9,760 non-emergency). A snapshot of the day taken at 18:00hrs shows 188 call handlers on duty answering the phone.

The busiest month of the year was July with 424,811 calls in total (164,308 emergency, 260,503 non-emergency) which officers put down to the warmer weather and more people being out and about on the streets.

Chief Superintendent Pippa Mills, in charge of MetCC, said: "It has been another very busy year for our call operators, not least Halloween which saw us answer an average of 767 calls coming in across London every hour.

"These figures demonstrate how incredibly hard our call operators work and I am proud of the professionalism they show, particularly when dealing with distressed members of the public who urgently need our help."

MetCC has three bases - in Hendon, Bow and Lambeth.

Laura has been working at Lambeth as a communications officer for the past 18 months. In 2014 she personally dealt with around 8,000 calls. She said: "It can be a challenging job. We work on a shift system and often deal with distressed callers but it can also be very rewarding knowing that you have helped and have done your job.

"We take a wide range of calls and it's not always easy. A particular incident that sticks out in my mind was from the autumn when someone dialled 999 but didn't speak to us.

"I could hear screaming and shouting in the background and mention of a knife. "I stayed on the phone for 40 minutes listening and trying to pinpoint where the call was coming from and any information that could help.

"Eventually I heard a first name, and then another, and it was enough for us to be able to run some checks and identify where the call was coming from.

"It was such a relief to hear the police arrive and deal with the situation and as far as I am aware no one was hurt."

January 16, 2015