Northumbria Police have welcomed some new specialist contact handlers this year.

Earlier this month, 17 specialist contact handlers began their extensive training to answer both 999 and 101 calls.

This will help the force provide swift, high-quality service to the public, particularly in emergencies.

Head of Communications Rachel Walters said: "I’m so pleased to welcome our newest recruits into our contact centres.

"Ultimately, our main goal has always been and will always be to ensure that in an emergency someone is on the other end of the phone to you as quickly as possible – and that they can provide the service and support you need."

READ MORE: Former school to be transformed into luxury hotel

She continued: "Please think twice about your call and whether it requires a police response.

"Calls like these might seem harmless, but they contribute to a huge demand on the staff."

Police and Crime Commissioner Kim McGuinness said that the call handlers are crucial in improving response times especially with increasing demands.

She said: "It really is such an important role requiring many skills – you never know what the next call might bring."

On average, Northumbria Police receives 850 calls to 999 and 900 calls on the non-emergency 101 number every day.