999 caller rings Notts police over hospital waiting times

The latest misplaced call.
The latest misplaced call.

Notts Police is urging the public to only call 999 in an emergency after one caller rings to complain about hospital waiting times.

Nottinghamshire Police's busy Control Room handles thousands of 999 emergency calls each month and while the majority of emergency calls are made to request police support in genuine emergencies, 999 call handlers still receive a number of spurious and misplaced calls which delay them from dealing with the most urgent calls.

The latest misplaced caller said: "I'm at the hospital and I've been waiting for four hours. I'm not happy with the length of the wait."

Superintendent Paul Burrows, from Nottinghamshire Police’s Contact Management department, said: “The vast majority of the public understand that 999 is only for emergency calls but, despite the work we regularly do in the media, online and over-the-phone to explain to people how to use 999 responsibly, we do still receive a high number of misplaced calls to our emergency number.

"While some of the misplaced calls we receive range from honest errors of judgement to the more unusual, there is a serious point to be made here as every misplaced call our emergency call handlers receive has the potential to delay us from responding to genuine emergencies.

“All we’re asking is that people only call 999 in genuine emergencies and remember that there are other ways to contact us for less urgent enquiries, with the Nottinghamshire Police website - www.nottinghamshire.police.uk/advice - offering advice on hundreds of policing and non-policing issues and the 101 non-emergency number also available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”

Advice for using 999 responsibly

Please think before dialling and only call 999 when life is in danger, someone is seriously injured, someone is using or threatening to use violence, a crime is in progress, there is serious damage being caused to property or whenever else an immediate police response is required.

For all other non-emergency policing matters, please call 101 or visit the Nottinghamshire Police website – www.nottinghamshire.police.uk/advice – for advice on how to deal with hundreds of policing and non-policing matters.

By not calling 999 when it’s anything less than an emergency, you can help to ensure Nottinghamshire Police’s team of emergency call handlers can be on-hand for when people really do need them.