Calling us on 999 because your boyfriend won't kiss you is unreasonable
This time of year is one of the busiest for our Call Takers who answer the emergency 999 calls. We see a rise in the number of calls, especially in the evenings.
We’re asking people to understand when to call 999 and when it’s #NOT999. A genuine emergency is where life or property are in immediate danger. Otherwise, if it’s a policing matter, call us on 101.
Where there is an immediate danger our call takers will be waiting to speak to you. We want people to call when someone or something is in immediate danger, or when a crime is actually happening at the time. Our Call Takers will take time to understand what is happening and get the details they need to send police officers to you as quickly as possible. They are trained to get the right information quickly, while understanding callers may be in a dangerous life threatening position. We will be empathetic and calm and help, that’s what we do.
Last Christmas between 20 December and 2 January we typically received 265 emergency 999 calls each day, and this was despite the county being in a Tier 4 Lockdown.
Hoax calls or non-emergency calls waste time. We will terminate these calls as they could stop someone with a genuine life threatening emergency getting through. We need to be able to answer calls which are for a genuine emergency.
We try to understand why people call 999 as a hoax or for unreasonable or inappropriate reasons, but we’re left wondering why.
Notwithstanding, that we get calls that may be driven by mental health reasons, most other 999 calls, that are not genuine emergencies, are simply unbelievable.
By example, we have received calls asking for train times, a number for a dentist, calling to report someone had no water and that someone’s boyfriend wouldn’t kiss her, yes really! None of these things are even a policing matter, let alone genuine emergencies.
Mike Modder-Fitch, Head of the Force Control Room, G4s, said: “We want everyone to enjoy themselves. We will be there if you need us but we’d much rather spend Christmas with nobody to speak to. There are many reasons why someone would need to call the 999 line, where someone is injured, where a crime is happening right there and then and someone or something is in immediate danger. If this is happening then call us on the 999 line.
“If we feel it’s not a genuine emergency, but still a policing matter, we will put you through to a colleague who can still help so that it will not tie up the 999 lines.
“When it’s a hoax call or simply not a policing matter we have to terminate the call to free the lines. If you’re on a night out and one of your drunk mates things it’s ok to call the 999 line, my ask is that you stop them from wasting our and their time.
“It could really make a difference to a genuine call. We can’t help with food orders, taxis or the number for dentists.”