Happy Christmas Eve! Today we'd like you to meet Chris, one of our call handlers working this Christmas.
“I am a Call Handler and Dispatcher, so I answer both non-emergency on 101 and emergency 999 calls. I also work on the force’s social media channels too, answering messages that come in via Facebook, Twitter and the website.
“I’ve worked for the police in Staffordshire, Nottinghamshire, and Derbyshire, on and off since 2000. I’ve worked at Christmas before, it’s just another day for me except there’s a Christmas tree up in the room!
“Usually I’m happy to work and cover for other people that want Christmas off. To me it’s just Dec 25th. This year, I am working Christmas Eve nights, Christmas Day night into boxing day, then New Year’s Eve day. I have a day of Annual Leave booked for my birthday on New Year’s Day!
“Similar to some of my other colleagues, I’d be lying if I said I won’t miss my family while I’m at work, but we get around it, my daughter will open her main presents when I’m there on Boxing Day so she gets a double whammy of presents.
“In the Control Room, it’s the same feel just a bit more festive. There is always a real sense of family in the group because you spend more time with them than you do your actual family, and I’ve felt this in every force I’ve worked at.
“Your colleagues are the people you lean on when you get a traumatic call. You build up a thick skin by dealing with quite shocking incidents, but to get through them you’ve got to take their help and think ‘It’s just work, it’s just a job.’ If you got too involved you’d never switch off.
“Calls at Christmas can vary, we get things ranging from people calling about parking outside their house to domestics that start mid-afternoon. Mornings are ok, everyone is having a lie in and opening presents. But afternoons and evenings is when we see the fallouts.
“This year we are all dealing with the unknown. I just ask people to be sensible around family gatherings, especially this year.”
If you need us over Christmas and New Year, please contact us using one of the following methods: