Revealed: 999 calls skyrocket on New Year’s Eve in Manchester… but safest night of year is just around corner

By Edward Roberts

It may come as no surprise to hear that calls to 999 skyrocket across Manchester on New Year’s Eve… but the quietest night of the year for emergency services is actually just around the corner.

New Year’s Eve regularly receives the unwanted accolade of worst night of the year for Greater Manchester Police (GMP), who face a barrage of calls throughout the night as revellers find themselves in trouble.

A Freedom of Information request revealed that in 2012 there were a massive 2,845 emergency calls made to GMP, and in 2010 that number was even higher at 3,259.

And 2011 would have been the same had it not been for the infamous riots of August 9 – which saw riots and looting break out across Manchester.

A colossal 3,562 calls were registered that night, knocking New Year’s Eve off the unwanted 999 topspot for mayhem.

But now MM can reveal that the quietest night of the year is only a couple of weeks away.

Two weeks after the festivities end, as people return to work, the number of 999 calls drops to an all-year low.

January 15 and January 16 logged the least 999 calls in 2011 and 2012 respectively, implicating the third week of January as a quiet period.

However the police were keen to reassure the public that measures are taken each year to deal with the peaks and troughs in 999 calls, particularly around New Year.

A GMP spokesman said: “We receive a drastic increase in emergency service calls during this time of the year.

“In order to deal with this we amend our staffing levels to cater for this demand. Emergency calls to 999 are always prioritised.”

The spokesman also noted that abandoned calls are dealt with seriously and are always followed up on. This adds to the demand of the emergency services and can often stretch their resources.

A barmaid in the city centre, Amy Asad, believes the statistics will come as a surprise to the workers who work behind the bars as midnight strikes.

She said: “I never would have thought New Year’s would have the most calls. If I’m honest most people just want to have a good time and don’t really get rowdy because of it.

“Maybe it depends where you go really, but that’s the same for any other night of the year.”

Maxine Johnson, who formerly worked in event promotions, said that clubs consider New Year’s Eve to be their biggest night of the year and keeping people safe is what makes it a success.

The 24-year-old said: “There’s always a strict door policy, and people just won’t get in if they’re suspected of causing trouble.

“No club wants to have to call the police at any point for any reason.”

The figures for New Year’s Eve 2013 have not yet been released.

So far, the busiest night of the year for 999 calls was on July 6 when 2,100 were made. On this day the UK was struck by a heat wave as the temperature soared to 25 degrees. 

Picture courtesy of Kenjonbro, with thanks.

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