Don't tie up the line - don't misuse 999Photograph of a control room operator

24/12/2012

Reporting a faulty phone line, a request for prescribed medication and reporting a lost dog are just some of the inappropriate 999 calls North Wales Police have received this year.

 

Traditionally Christmas and New Year are among the busiest times of year for the Force and officers are asking people to use the 999 system wisely to help ensure a genuine emergency is not missed over the festive period.

 

Other inappropriate calls made to the force during the year include reporting bins being left outside property, wanting a telephone number for a local authority due to a dog being lost and a call from a man stating their son was playing on his Xbox and refusing to go to bed.

 

Superintendent Paul Breed from the Joint Communications Centre said: "We are now approaching one of our busiest times of the year. Every false or inappropriate 999 call to North Wales Police takes up precious time and prevents someone who really needs our immediate help from getting through to us.

 

Photograph of the Force Control Room"I would always encourage people to use 999 in a genuine emergency and never put themselves at risk, and for those people, who do not have an emergency, please use our single non emergency number, 101, and keep the 999 line free for someone in urgent need."

 

He added: "Phoning 999 for routine matters will not result in an improved service to the caller. We do have powers to prosecute people for misusing the 999 system and if people are found to consistently making hoax calls they could face prosecution."

 

North Wales Police are once again promoting 101 - the single non emergency number which should be used to speak to the police about a general enquiry or to report a non emergency crime such as anti social behaviour, harassment or intimidation, drunken or rowdy behaviour, and dangerous driving.

 

Supt Breed said: “999 should still be used if there is a crime in progress; violence is being used or threatened; an offender has been recently disturbed or made off; or there has been a road accident where people are injured or the road is blocked.

 

“However, many people dial 999 when their call isn't an emergency simply because they don't know how else to contact the police. 101 is an easy number to remember and it gives people access to all areas of the force.”

 

Notes:

 

  • Between January and November this year, North Wales Police have received 83,263 ‘999’ calls and 358,412 non-emergency phone calls.

 

For alternative ways on how to contact North Wales Police please click here

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