Norfolk's Most Laughed At... Inappropriate 999 Calls Released
7:20am 1st August 2014
Don't call 999 - that’s the message for people who've missed their bus, or who've seen a funny looking squirrel.
Norfolk Police have released a selection of inappropriate 999 calls and are appealing not to use the emergency number unless someone is at risk or a crime is in progress:
All of these calls tied up emergency operators meaning people with genuine emergencies were left on hold.
Chris Harvey is the Control Room Chief Inspector... He says the introduction of 101 emergency number has really helped his operators to get to those in need first but you still get the odd one:
"We don’t get quite so many 999 calls as we used to. But because it’s a general number for community issues and reporting of low level problems, if people do have an issue and they can’t find the answer, they will call police and see if we can help them."
He added that some calls may sound silly, but they can in fact be someone who needs help and his operators are trained to tell the difference. This is particularly a problem in North Norfolk where a high number of older people have retired to villages before developing conditions like dementia. They can need genuine help if they become confused as they can put themselves in danger.
"I’ve heard a few in my time over the years, like someone who was being plagued by pigeons in the park, or there was one today wanting to know if their house was earthed. We don’t really understand why people phone us.
“But some of them are quite sad as well so we’ve been doing a lot of work with mental health teams. Previously we never had that link but now if someone calls us and we think they are in crisis or have mental health issues we’re able to put them in touch with someone straight away."