999 caller asks Nottinghamshire Police to help with takeaway refund

999 call operators say spurious calls frequently delay them from dealing with real emergencies.
999 call operators say spurious calls frequently delay them from dealing with real emergencies.

Nottinghamshire Police has once again urged the public to use 999 responsibly, after a caller requested help with an unsatisfactory takeaway.

The caller said: "I've had a takeaway delivered, but it's not very nice and they won't give me a refund."

The Nottinghamshire control room handles thousands of 999 emergency calls each month, and spurious and misplaced calls can waste crucial seconds when it comes to respond to genuine emergencies.

Previous incidents have seen the police asked to find a lost handbag, book a taxi, advise on a noisy boiler, and share information about train timetables, or investigate a hair in someone's food.

Superintendent Paul Burrows said: “The vast majority of the public understand that 999 is only for emergency calls.

"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."

He added: “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.

"Every misplaced call our emergency call handlers receive has the potential to delay us from responding to genuine emergencies."

Police advise callers to think before dialling, and only call 999 when a crime is in progress, when there is a serious urgent risk to someone's life or property, or whenever else an immediate police response is required.

By not calling 999 when it’s anything less than an emergency, Nottinghamshire Police can be on-hand for when people really do need them.

Superintendent Burrows said: “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.

"There is the 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.”