Nottinghamshire Police has released details of some of the misplaced 999 calls it has received recently in a bid to encourage people to use the emergency number correctly.
Calls received over the last few weeks by the force on the 999 number have included a woman who wanted a lift home, someone who was requesting help after their oven door smashed while they were cooking a turket and someone wanting to settle an argument with a friend about firearms licensing laws.
As the force gears up for New Year's Eve, one of the busiest nights of the year for its call handlers, it is now encouraging people to only use 999 in a genuine emergency.
The force has released a video featuring a call from a woman who, instead of calling a taxi, has called 999 to request that Nottinghamshire Police arrange for her to be picked-up and given a lift home.
In the last few weeks alone, Nottinghamshire Police has received misplaced ‘emergency’ calls from members of the public asking for help:
Getting into their properties after they lost their keys.
After someone having their car repaired was told the garage was going to close early on Christmas Eve.
Requesting help after someone’s oven door smashed while they were cooking a turkey.
Being put in contact with their mobile phone provider, after they were sent a new SIM card.
After someone left their personal diary at their place of work.
Wanting to settle an argument with a friend about firearms licensing laws.
Chief Inspector Neil Williams, from Nottinghamshire Police’s Contact Management department, said: “The vast majority of the public understand that 999 is only to be used in genuine emergencies but we do still receive a number of misplaced calls to our 999 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 them from responding to genuine emergencies.
“The new year period – and particularly New Year’s Eve – is traditionally one of the busiest times of the year for us, as people are out enjoying themselves and seeing in the new year with their friends and families.
“We’re simply asking the public to help us to be there for when people genuinely do need our help the most, which they can do by looking after themselves and those closest to them – and making a plan for each other get home safely, wherever it is you are celebrating.”
Police have now issued the following 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.