POLICE handled more than 2,000 emergency calls on New Year’s Eve – including over 200 reports of violence.

The ‘”unsung heroes” who work in West Yorkshire Police’s Contact Centre took 2,030 calls via 999 from 7am on December 31 to 7am on January 1.

This was up by 23 per cent compared with the same day in 2017, meaning an extra 380 emergency number calls. This was despite 97 of these calls being ‘pocket dials’.

During New Year’s Eve, the Force handled 109 domestic violence based calls, 116 violence against the person calls and 127 emergency calls about concerns for a person’s safety.

However, not every 999 phone call was genuine, with some people choosing to phone the police to ask for a lift home.

In the first five hours of New Year’s Day, 855 calls were made to the 999 number.

In total, the Customer Contact Centre dealt with 4,336 contacts.

The average queue time on New Year’s Eve into New Year’s Day for people facing an emergency situation was four seconds and no 999 calls were abandoned. The force has not abandoned a 999 call for the past 17 months.

Tom Donohoe, Senior Contact Manager for West Yorkshire Police, said: “New Year’s Eve is always a very busy night for the Customer Contact Centre and it was especially busy this time.

“We have to treat each 999 call as a genuine emergency – so we have to presume that the caller is someone facing a serious situation in their life and needing our help, quickly.

“Our call handlers have to investigate every call – and that includes ‘pocket dials’ and people calling in for a lift home - yes, we really had calls to taxi people home.

“Despite this demand for service our call handlers coped extremely well – they are some of the ‘unsung heroes’ of the force – they are usually the first person someone speaks to when they are facing a terrible time in their life.

“I want to take this opportunity on behalf of the Senior Leadership Team to thank them for their work throughout 2018 – a year which has seen unprecedented demand on the Customer Contact Centre – culminating in a particularly busy New Year’s Eve.”

As well as the 999 emergency number, there is the 101 number for people who need to contact police when it is not an emergence, like reporting a car being broken into overnight.

Police say they prioritise the 999 number but centre staff have been working hard to improve the service offered and are seeing some real, consistent, improvements.

Despite the massive demand on the centre the average queue time for non-emergency 101 calls was 68 seconds.