News : More Bizarre Reasons for 999 Calls to West Yorkshire Police
West Yorkshire, UK, Nov 5, 2015 -- Details of more bizarre 999 calls to West Yorkshire Police have been revealed and include reports of a cat in a house, a dead pigeon in the garden, a missing packet of rice and a broken freezer still under warranty.
More than 1,000 emergency calls are received daily to the 999 number but inappropriate and hoax calls are potentially putting lives at risk by taking call handlers’ time away from genuine calls, say police chiefs .
In July, the force released other examples of ridiculous calls with a warning that they take up vital seconds for contact centre staff which could make a difference to people involved in genuine emergencies.
Those calls included a woman complaining she was not happy with the fridge she had bought online; a caller reporting they had left their cigarettes in a taxi; another reporting the expiry date had run out on the bottle of water they had bought; and someone who wanted police to investigate why a bus had driven past his stop.
Now, the police chiefs are repeated the warning with winter and Christmas fast approaching.
Tom Donohoe, head of West Yorkshire Police's Communications Department, said of the ridiculous 999 calls: "It’s astonishing listening to them but they hide a serious truth.
"Each call often takes minutes to deal with as our Customer Contact Centre staff have to clarify the situation – it might not sound like much but if someone is trying to get through to report a genuine life or death emergency then a minute is a very long time to wait."
He added: "I cannot stress enough that the 999 number is for emergencies only when there is likely to be a danger to life, serious injury, serious damage or a threat or use of violence.
"Emergency graded incidents will result in an immediate response and it is imperative the West Yorkshire Police are in a position to receive the call and dispatch appropriate resources without delay.
"With snow forecast this winter and the festive season it is more important than ever that we are able to deal with emergencies as quickly as possible and not have our time taken up with silly calls."
On average police get about 6,000 hoax calls a year, which is about 19 every day.
The punishment for wasting police time can be six months imprisonment.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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West Yorkshire Police is the territorial police force responsible for policing West Yorkshire in England. It is the fourth largest force in England and Wales by number of officers, with 5671 officers.
Published: Monday, November 9, 2015