Police shame time wasting 999 callers

Friday 01 February 2013 Updated: 04/02 09:48

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West Midlands Police Force Contact Centre take 1,500 calls a day.

A PROBLEM getting served at McDonalds and forgetting a laptop password are just two of the bizarre calls to 999 operators.

West Midlands Police have released recordings of the two calls as part of fresh efforts to stop people using the emergency line as an advice line.

www.soundcloud.com/westmidlandspolice/sets/999-mcdonalds-wont-serve-me

Other time wasting calls taken over the past year include about lost property, people asking for directions and from revellers who have been denied entry to a nightclub.

The force receives around 1,500 999 calls a day - and on Friday and Saturday call handlers will be tweeting some of the real-time calls they receive from 7am until 7am on Sunday morning to give people an insight into what they have to deal with.

Chief Inspector Sally Holmes said: "Its astonishing listening to them but they hide a serious truth.

"Each call often takes minutes to deal with as 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.

"I cannot stress enough that the 999 number is for emergencies only.

"As well as the bizarre calls police also receive deliberate hoax calls which take up vital time. The daft calls are bad enough, but for someone to maliciously dial 999 to take up police time, knowing they are making a false report, is unacceptable."

If you're on Twitter you can follow the calls the force recieves @wmpolice.

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