Police urge members of the public not to waste their time with inappropriate 999 calls
From receiving complaints about coffee-making to asking for a taxi number and not being able to log into social media accounts – these are just some of the types of calls made to the control room – many of which came through on the emergency number.
Suffolk police is today, Monday 10 September, releasing real examples of calls made to 999 and 101 in a bid to encourage people to think before they dial.
Assistant Chief Constable (ACC) Rachel Kearton said: "The number of calls for help we receive is rising and we want to make sure we speak to you as soon as possible.
"Around 40% of the calls made to us do not require any police action.
"We strive to deliver a quality service, however unnecessary calls to us take time to deal with, time we want give to those callers who genuinely need the police.
"The vast majority of our non-urgent calls could be resolved on our recently updated website. It offers a wealth of information, including frequently asked questions, advice and the ability to easily report minor matters and crimes online.
"I would urge anyone who has not seen our website recently to have a look.
"While we encourage anyone with a non-urgent enquiry to visit our website first, for emergencies 999 is the way to get in contact with us quickly.
"I’d like to remind people that by using 999 inappropriately, you could delay a real emergency call, which may have devastating consequences.”
Earlier this year, the force made improvements to its telephony system. Launched in May, the new digital system enables control room staff to identify and prioritise the most important calls that come through on the 101 number.
The system also gives the flexibility the constabulary needs in the future to take full advantage of different ways to contact us as technology evolves.
ACC Kearton added: "The new system is already helping the force to manage calls by directing non-urgent or non-relevant calls to the correct partner agency or online.”
For more information or to report a non-urgent incident, which currently takes less than two minutes to do on our website, please visit: http://www.suffolk.police.uk/contact-us/report-something
Suffolk’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Tim Passmore said: "It is crucially important that everyone knows how to contact the constabulary when they need to and it’s equally important that they know which agency to call for non-policing issues.
"You would be amazed at some of the calls that come through to Suffolk’s control room and a very high percentage are not police issues at all.
"By checking the constabulary’s website before you pick up the phone, you can be sure your call is directed to the correct agency, and there are plenty of issues you can now deal with online.
"The constabulary is always going to be the agency of last resort and that is absolutely right.
"If you are at risk, under threat or feeling vulnerable the police will help you and that will remain the case, always.”
10 examples of inappropriate calls we have received:
1. A man called 999 because no one would get him a cup of coffee.
2. My son has snatched the remote control and won’t give it back.
3. What is the best taxi company?
4. I’ve been drinking for two days; can the police come and check I’m still under the drink-drive limit?
5. What are your non-emergency numbers?
6. A doorman won’t let me in because I’m wearing tracksuit bottoms.
7. What’s the number for the Premier Inn?
8. I can’t log into my Facebook account.
9. I want to complain as there is a fly in my kebab.
10. There’s no label on my microwave meal and I don’t know how long to cook it for.