Misuse of 999

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

When a call comes in to Force Control Room it is graded in the response. A true 999 call should involve a code 1 response, i.e. blue light to scene.

In 2013 Force Control received 3,726 999 calls. Of those calls only 421 warranted a code 1 response.

A code 2 response is one that requires an immediate response but not a blue light run, these should not come in on 999.

There were 1022 code 2 responses from 999 calls.

People who make inappropriate 999 calls are often asked to redial 612612 to ensure lines are not tied up for genuine calls. The FCR officer will use their discretion who they ask to redial. If the caller is considered vulnerable they may still continue with the call despite it not requiring a code 1 response.

Examples of inappropriate 999 calls include:-

1. Reporting that they have lost their phone / wallet / purse.

2. Because they haven’t got no credit on their phone.

3. Enquiring if their partner has been arrested or if a friend has been arrested.

4. Asking if PC ******* is on duty at the moment?

5. Complaining that they have just been thrown out of a pub / club who

are refusing to let them back in.

6. Complaining that a night club won’t let them have their jacket back.

7. Asking what time can they come to the police station to collect their property?

8. Asking why is the traffic so bad in town?

9. Asking if there is, or why is there a power cut?

10. Reporting that they have a snake in their lounge.

11. Couldn’t get TV to work following the digital switch over. Wasn’t very happy when told it was not a Police matter, nor an emergency

Advice – Only call 999 if -

• Someone is badly hurt or in danger.

• There’s a serious risk to life or property.

• A crime is being committed and the offenders are still there or have just left.

• You’ve come across a major public danger, like trees blocking a road.

• Any of the above is happening now or has just happened.


Superintendent Rob Bastable, Head of Uniform Operations, said: “The

number for the police is 612612 or from a mobile phone 01534 612612. Please

store this number in your mobile phones to use in circumstances that do not

warrant the use of the 999 number.

“The 999 number is for emergencies only. By using the 999 number

inappropriately, you may be delaying the response to someone who really

needs it.”



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