Friday 14 June 2024
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Inappropriate 999 calls included reporting ‘a noisy fridge’ and ‘it’s too cold to wait for train’

As part of a focus on the force’s Contact Management Department, police today released examples of inappropriate and misused emergency calls received in the past year.

So far since the beginning of 2022, Leicestershire Police has received over 187,000 999 calls.

Calls to the police on the 999 system should be for emergencies only when a crime is in progress, when there is a danger to life or when violence is being used or threatened. Calls to 101 should be made to report a police matter which does not require an immediate response or attention.

This year, examples of calls made on the 999 emergency line to the force include:

  • A caller reporting a noisy fridge
  • A caller reporting it was too cold to wait for a train
  • A caller reporting there were flies in her house in the summer
  • A caller reporting they had forgotten their keys and they were locked out
  • A caller who had no phone credit and wanted police to make calls for them on their behalf
  • A caller, who admitted he had been drinking, but did not require police assistance. He later made two further calls and during one, he asked the call handler what her bra size was
  • A child calling and asking the call handler if they like gummy sweets.
  • A child calling and swearing to the operator before hanging up
  • An abusive caller who spent the entire call swearing and talking about how much he hated the police
  • A caller who had missed his bus stop in Shepshed and had arrived in Coalville instead
  • A caller who he had lost his dog before hanging up.

A caller also called the 101 non-emergency number to report they had bought a car and was now not happy with it.

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Superintendent Steve Durrant, from the force’s Contact Management Department, said: “We have released the details of a number of calls so the public get a real understanding of the types of matters reported to us and the issues our call handling staff unfortunately have to deal with.

“Some members of the public do call 999 without knowing instead they should be calling 101, the non-emergency line, but we do also receive many calls from people who do not need the police at all and have made the call with blatant misuse and disregard.

“Every minute that our call handlers spend dealing with an inappropriate emergency call, means those with real emergencies may experience a delay in getting through, potentially putting lives at risk.

“Our call handlers do a very often stressful job under immense pressure and demand. They are there to help the public when they need us most and should not have to be exposed to abuse or frustration when the caller has called 999 unnecessarily.”

 

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