Seven-hour tweetathon highlights reality of frontline policing

There is always someone at the end of the line to help with benefits issues.

There is always someone at the end of the line to help with benefits issues. - Credit: Twitter / CambsCops

Cambridgeshire police answered 130 emergency calls and officers attended 97 incidents within seven hours on October 22. 

Every incident was recorded on the force’s Twitter account @CambsCops between 4pm and 11pm, as part of a live tweetathon to highlight the reality of frontline policing and demand. 

During the tweetathon, the demand hub dealt with 17 domestic abuse incidents, 15 road related incidents, 15 violent incidents and 19 concern for welfare incidents. 

Not all calls were genuine police matters though, with 24 silent calls, three hoaxes and seven abandoned calls. 

Detective Superintendent Michael Branston, head of demand, said: “Fridays are generally a busy shift for demand hub staff and we deal with a high volume of emergency calls, which the tweetathon demonstrated. 

“We hope it gave people an insight into the varied and complex nature of our role, the variety of incidents we deal with and the resources required to keep everyone safe.” 

The public praised the rare insight into the world of policing, with one Twitter user calling it a “real eye-opener" while another said it was “really interesting to see the variety of jobs that come in”. 

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“The majority of the calls we get are for genuine police matters however we also wanted to shine a light on the amount of calls we receive either accidentally or through a lack of judgement", said Michael.

“An example from Friday was one caller who phoned 999 to report their bike had been locked up to several other bikes, which isn’t an appropriate use of our emergency line.

“While I want to stress we are here to help and admit accidental calls can happen I’m also urging the public to consider whether their call is about a genuine police matter before calling and tying up a call taker.

“We appreciate mistakes can happen so if you do accidentally call us, explain the situation rather than just hanging up.

“The checks can take up to ten minutes each, which can add up to my teams spending a disproportionate amount of time dealing with accidental calls.”

For information on the different ways you can contact the police, please visit Cambridgeshire Constabulary's website.