South Yorkshire Police call handlers issue plea over 101 number
Police call handlers are urging people to think twice before they dial 101.
In a bid to reduce the amount of time people spend on hold, operators are urging callers to visit the South Yorkshire Police website first to check the most appropriate way of reporting issues or seeking help.
South Yorkshire Police received over 240 more calls than normal on Monday night, with many to report noise nuisance and lost property.
Noise problems should be reported to local councils and lost property should be reported at police station enquiry desks.
A South Yorkshire Police spokeswoman said: "On Monday night we experienced a high number of calls into 101, more than we normally have, which resulted in longer waiting times.
"We apologise for this, but we try to deal with every call effectively to ensure everybody gets the support they need.
"Between 5pm and 11pm we had received an additional 243 calls on top of what we normally have at this time, which is around 800 calls.
"There is no particular reason why we had these extra calls, although we do tend to see an increase when we have warmer weather as more people are out enjoying the sunshine.
"A lot of the calls last night were about noise, loud music and lost items from the weekend.
"Noise nuisance is dealt with by your local council and they should be called in the first instance. For lost property, you should attend your local enquiry desk to report this, which you will be advised to do if you call 101.
"We know it is extremely frustrating when you are trying to get through on 101 and you are on hold. We are trying our best to answer calls as quickly and effectively as possible.
Please help us by having a look at our web page to see if your issue is something for the police or another agency before you call.
"Our busiest time is between 5pm and 11pm, if your call can wait please consider calling back outside of these hours."
Extra call handlers are currently being recruited.