A motorist dialled 999 to save him breaking into a tenner.
This was just one ridiculous example of idiot callers misusing the 999 system and hindering real emergency calls.
Nottinghamshire Police has issued a recording of one of its latest misplaced emergency calls – and has issued a fresh plea for the public to use 999 responsibly.
Between April and October 2018 alone, Nottinghamshire Police’s busy Control Room has taken over 241,498 calls to their 101 non-emergency number, as well as a further 108,258 calls to its ‘999’ emergency number.
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 call features a man who has filled up his car at a local petrol station and has refused to pay 3p of his £10.03 charge, as he refused to break into a £10 note for the extra three pence.
In the last few weeks alone, the force has received misplaced ‘emergency’ calls from members of the public asking for help:
From someone who had found a hair in their food.
To negotiate a refund of an item they had purchased from a shop.
Book them a taxi after a night out.
Track down an iPad that had been left on a plane.
Take action after half of a takeaway order they’d had delivered was missing.
After someone partially parked across the end of their driveway.
To keep an eye on someone’s property while they are on holiday.
To find out why the buses were running four minutes late.
To report someone’s wallet as lost.
To tell someone the time.
“PLEASE USE 999 RESPONSIBLY”
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 over-the-phone to explain to people, we still do 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 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.”
PLEASE USE 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.