Police receive more than 700 calls on 999 as Storm Dudley batters Suffolk

Superintendent Kerry Cutler said last night Suffolk police received more calls than she can ever remember happening

Superintendent Kerry Cutler said last night Suffolk police received more calls than she can ever remember happening - Credit: Fiona Banham/Sarah Lucy Brown

Police received more than 700 emergency calls in just 24 hours as Storm Dudley hit Suffolk.

Officers worked throughout the night to respond to the increase in demand, with fallen trees cleared from roads across the county.

Homes were also left without power as gales reached speeds of up to 55mph.

But wind speeds could reach in excess of 70mph on Friday as Suffolk braces for the arrival of Storm Eunice.

Superintendent Kerry Cutler, of Suffolk police, revealed the number of calls received over Wednesday evening was unprecedented in her time in the force.

She said: “We took more than 700 999 calls in the last 24 hours, and saw a 70% increase in demand to our control room compared to the previous night. This is a number I can’t remember ever seeing in my seven years of being a superintendent."

“The majority of weather-related calls were reports of obstructions on the roads and at least 80 calls received were reports of trees down across roads.

Fallen tree in Brandon cuts off power to hundreds of homes

A fallen tree cut off power to homes in Brandon on Wednesday night - Credit: Suffolk Fire Service

"Our peak busy period was between 4pm and 9pm yesterday, and staff in the control room and response officers worked exceptionally hard to respond to this high level of demand.

"I would like to thank them for this as we anticipate strong winds to continue this week."

Most Read

However, Supt Cutler added calling 999 for weather-related incidents was not always the best course.

She added: “Calling 999 when it is not an emergency can impact our ability to deal with incidents where there is genuine risk to life so we would urge people to consider whether their call is urgent.

"If it is less urgent, please consider calling at a later time or using our online reporting form.

"If it relates to non-urgent storm weather conditions, including fallen trees and main routes blocked, we would ask people to report these to Suffolk Highways for local roads or National Highways for our main trunk A roads."

“With high winds and more disruption on the roads expected to continue today and tomorrow, we also urge motorists to be sensible and consider whether your journey is essential.

"Flying debris, gusts of high winds and obstructions will make journeys more dangerous. If you do have to travel, check for any road closures or updates before travelling and consider your mode of transport - motorbikes and bicycles are particularly vulnerable in high winds."