Police Game Gives a Taste of 999 Pressures

Can you make decisions under pressure? A new game lets players turn Control Room Inspector and is a bid to reduce inappropriate demand for Cleveland Police.

The game, which is available on the Force’s website https://cleveland.police.uk/Demand_Game/ uses examples of genuine calls received – which the player must then decide how to respond to.

The options are to deploy officers, resolve over the phone, pass to the right partner agency or take no action.

To make the game feel as realistic as possible players are pitted against the clock each time and also have a limited number of officers to deploy.

Superintendent Alison Jackson, who is the lead for Cleveland Police’s Control Room, said: “This is an excellent opportunity for people to get an appreciation of how fast-moving our Control Room is. Every month we deal with more than 25,000 calls and that demand is increasing.

“The game includes some genuine examples of calls which were clearly not an emergency, such as people asking for a lift from police, complaining about parcel delivery and a restaurant bill being too high.

“Players will be able to experience how frustrating it is to waste time on these calls when you’re also hearing from people who are being assaulted, burgled or have a missing child.”

Cleveland Police hopes people will enjoy playing the game and at the same time it will help the public to understand the pressures of modern policing and when it is appropriate to dial 999.

Supt Jackson added: “This is an interactive way to address a serious issue. The choices we make are not always easy but we make decisions based on the risk to the public. Hopefully the game will help people understand which issues they should be raising with our partners and to appreciate what is and isn’t a police matter.

At the end of the game players are invited to share it on social media and to also join the conversation about demand at #SensiblePolicing.

The game is available from Monday May 14 on Cleveland Police’s website.