Police Scotland flooded by 50 per cent surge in 999 calls

Police have been flooded with emergency calls across Scotland, with people dialling 999 for help soaring by 50 per cent in the past 24 hours.

Thursday, 1st March 2018, 7:51 pm
Updated Thursday, 1st March 2018, 7:57 pm

A total of 1,892 999 calls were answered by Police Scotland’s control room between 8am yesterday and 8am today.

A further 6,380 calls to the emergency 101 number were taken across the same period.

Police said the surge in 999 calls as Scots battled severe weather conditions across the country was 50 per cent more than a normal day.

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A jackknifed lorry on the M80 Haggs in Glasgow. Police Scotland's control centre has received 50 per cent more calls than normal to 999. Picture: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire

The number of 101 calls was also 6 per cent up on a typical day in March.

A statement from Police Scotland said: “Following the Met Office’s extension of the amber weather warning, Police Scotland are urging people to continue to monitor the forecast and stick to the advice being given by the authorities.

“Amber and Yellow weather warnings remain in place for much of the country, so we can expect the weather conditions to remain challenging.

“The disruption caused during the prolonged, heavy snowfall and strong winds means police and our partner agencies are still dealing with a number of issues right across our transport network, mostly on our roads.

A jackknifed lorry on the M80 Haggs in Glasgow. Police Scotland's control centre has received 50 per cent more calls than normal to 999. Picture: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire

“Conditions remain very challenging and we continue to urge people not to travel in the affected areas.

“Earlier this morning a number of vehicles got into difficulty on the M80, and as a consequence the road was closed along with the M876.

“We are asking people to avoid that area. Our advice is clear - do not travel in the affected areas, but if you have travelled and you get into difficulty, stay in your vehicle, call for assistance and wait for help to arrive.”

Officers were forced to rescue motorists stranded on the M80 near Cumbernauld last night and today.

They also helped trace a vulnerable male in Forth Valley in severe and life threatening weather conditions during the early hours of this morning. Two motorists who were lost and disorientated on Clackmannanshire Bridge, in reduced visibility of about three feet, were found by officers and guided to safety and shelter.

A vulnerable elderly woman in Aberdeen and a vulnerable male who got separated from his coach party in Inverness were also found safely.

Superintendent Helen Harrison, who is co-ordinating the multi-agency response, said: “We continue to deal with a number of challenging incidents right across the country and the response from our officers, staff and those of our partner agencies has been outstanding.

“We are not complacent through and we will continue to monitor the situation closely in order to keep people as safe as possible. Our advice has not changed - avoid travel in the affected areas and keep a close eye on the Met Office updates and from the authorities across Scotland.

“We are continuing to run a multi-agency command centre at Bilston to coordinate the emergency response with our partners and to keep Scotland moving as best we can.”

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