Industry Research : Woman Dials 999 To Ask Police to Check Her Plug Sockets
June 17, 2013 -- A woman dialled 999 – to ask if police officers could pop round to test her plug sockets were working correctly.
This is just one of the barmy requests logged by emergency phone line operators in Cornwall over the last month.
New statistics reveal calls to the police force have shot up by 40 per cent at peak times in the past four weeks, the majority of which were "non-urgent" or "inappropriate". Other examples of bizarre 999 calls include a Helston man complaining about the volume of his neighbour’s radio.
The call centre has also been receiving high numbers of calls on busy Friday and Saturday nights from people asking for lifts home or taxi firm numbers.
A police spokesman said: "Inappropriate calls that have been clogging up the emergency phone lines range from problems with utilities to complaints about noise and often callers are knowingly using the line inappropriately. This is putting the lives of people who need immediate assistance in a real emergency at risk.
"If life is threatened, if people are injured, if offenders are nearby or if immediate action is required then 999 is the number to call."
He said the operator had questioned why the woman had dialled 999 for a plug socket test – and she replied she had already tried the fire service which couldn’t help.
The spokesman added: "Other common calls were: ‘Well, it’s not really an emergency, but I didn’t know the right number to call’."
Devon and Cornwall Police has also received an increase in calls about noise complaints on both the 999 emergency numbers and the 101 non-emergency numbers.
"Police do not deal with noise complaints," the spokesman said. "It is the responsibility of the council to deal with noise issues such as loud parties and noisy neighbours."
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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Published: Wednesday, May 22, 2013