In an emergency the first thing people usually think to do is dial 999. Since 1937, the service has provided 24/7 access to the emergency services for those in need of urgent assistance.
However, with upwards of 560,000 calls a week according to British Telecom, there is a huge demand on the service. At its busiest time, which is unsurprisingly around midnight on Friday and Saturday nights, handlers can expect 5,000 incoming calls an hour. Over the Christmas period this increases with around 9,000 calls received in the early hours of New Year’s Day.
Although the majority of calls are genuine, an estimated 35% don’t involve actual requests for help. These include accidental calls, deliberate hoaxes or children playing with phones. We’ve also all heard the tales of time-wasting calls, which the emergency services often publicise as a reminder to the public that 999 should not be abused.
When should you dial 999?
If there’s immediate danger to life
A crime is in progress
Someone suspected of a crime is nearby
A video posted on social media has exposed the appalling level of abuse faced by police. In the short clip, two officers in Merton, South London are assaulted during a routine traffic stop, with a male suspect seen ‘karate kicking’ a female officer to the ground – just yards away from the path of an oncoming bus.
The officer sustained head injuries, whilst her male colleague suffered cuts after being dragged across the floor by a suspect attempting to flee. Several cars can be seen driving past without stopping to help until eventually a member of the public steps in to assist.
In the video the man filming can be heard laughing and making fun of the officers instead of coming to their aid. After the video was uploaded to Twitter, the incident hit the headlines last week as it demonstrates the current lack of respect towards police forces.
It prompted the Chairman of the Met Police Federation, Ken Marsh, to suggest that the severity of attacks faced by officers, coupled with the lack of support from the public could mean
A volunteer had a lucky escape when he became lost on the North York Moors whilst working alone.
The man was undertaking a wildlife survey when he took a shortcut and struggled to find his way back. To make matters worse, his phone battery quickly went flat leaving him with no means to navigate.
Fortunately the man had been able to alert the police that he was lost before his phone died. They contacted the National Park Authority although they were unable to pinpoint his location.
Covering 554 square miles, the North York Moors National Park is one of the most remote parts of Yorkshire and the North East.
The volunteer had followed lone working ‘buddy’ procedures correctly and given his whereabouts to a family member at home. However, in a stroke of bad luck they’d gone out and left their mobile phone indoors and could not be contacted.
Eventually the worker was able to find his car and let others know he was safe, but things could easily have turned out differently. This highlights the dangers of working
When entering another person’s home in a professional capacity, your personal safety must always be your top priority.
Nurses, social workers, housing officers, delivery drivers, carers and maintenance staff are just a few of the roles where home visits are commonplace. However, despite being part and parcel of many people’s everyday jobs, this can potentially expose employees to risk.
Why do home visits carry higher risk?
Quite simply when you are in somebody else’s home this puts them in a position of control. This perception can alter the way you behave and put you on the back foot to start with. In certain circumstances you may be more likely to agree with somebody else or behave in a submissive way. In an unfamiliar environment you might not be aware of the dangers or even how to get away in a hurry if you need to.
The nature of some roles may also have a higher probable risk associated, for example a nurse that visits mental health patients in the community or a housing officer that deals with
Three quarters of retailers are said to have expressed concern over the response to incidents, as it’s claimed that police forces are under significant pressure to deal with rising crime levels.
A report by The Home Affairs Committee, entitled ‘Policing for the Future’ outlined the demands on modern police forces, suggested that falling staff numbers coupled with an increased level of crime is making it harder to offer communities the protection they need.
It stated that recorded crimes, including robbery and theft have climbed 32% in the last three years – a sharp increase, whilst charges fell by over a quarter as neighbourhood policing has been cut.
Retailers are feeling the impact of rising crime, as The Association of Convenience Stores Crime Report shows that incidents in the sector have almost doubled in the past year to 950,000.
At the same time around 82% of retail employers are also concerned about the consistency of the response from police, with 73% dissatisfied by the time taken to respond to incidents.
Increasing Threat of Violence
Violent crime is a particular worry