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Ignorance, stupidity or just plain selfish?

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Ignorance, stupidity or just plain selfish?

'McDonalds won't serve me': The banal calls that prevent genuine emergency calls getting through to ...
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Others who misused the service included one caller asking if officers could come out to scare his sister, while another woman grumbled about being refused entry to a nightclub.
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'We regularly receive calls to 999 about lost property, people asking for directions and from people who have been denied entry to a nightclub.

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The force revealed that almost half of the 700,000 telephone calls received annually by the force’s emergency number were inappropriate.

That's a lot of calls wasting time and resources!
Back in my childhood days we regularly had police visiting our school to educate us about how to use the service properly and of the consequences for not doing so. Does this not happen any more?

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Community Veteran
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Registered: 12-08-2007

Re: Ignorance, stupidity or just plain selfish?

These people should be fined for wasting the time of the emergency services.  It's disgusting. Someone else could die whilst this stupidity is dealt with.
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Re: Ignorance, stupidity or just plain selfish?

Maybe wrong but, I thought people could be prosecuted for wasting Police time. Perhaps the Police (and ambulance services etc) should name and shame some of the idiots, presumably the calls can be easily traced these days. Organisations are fond of telling us that incoming calls maybe recorded for training purposes I guess the Police etc are no exception.
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When faced with two choices, simply toss a coin. It works not because it settles the question for you. But because in that brief moment while the coin is in the air. You suddenly know what you are hoping for.
Community Veteran
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Re: Ignorance, stupidity or just plain selfish?

The West Midlands Police were playing a tape on the radio yesterday with some of these calls.  I agree with Petlew they should go one step further and prosecute these fools.
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Re: Ignorance, stupidity or just plain selfish?

I agree prosecute. But if you aired the clip on youtube and named the people involved, wouldn't every "fool" compete to see who could come up with the wackiest call.
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Re: Ignorance, stupidity or just plain selfish?

Yes I have to agree, there's an element that will try to compete for most outlandish false alarm sadly. Bit like the "badge of courage" attitude for some hat surrounds the wearing of an ankle monitor.
Experience; is something you gain, just after you needed it most.

When faced with two choices, simply toss a coin. It works not because it settles the question for you. But because in that brief moment while the coin is in the air. You suddenly know what you are hoping for.
David_W
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Re: Ignorance, stupidity or just plain selfish?

I disagree, people do call 999 for foolish reasons, but if they started getting prosecuted then there could introduce an element of "is this an actual emergency, should I call 999 or will I get done for it?".  When it is an obvious emergency, yeah, you wouldn't hesitate, but when it's borderline or you're not sure, you may not call the police at all.  "That guy looks a bit suspicious, maybe he's casing the joint or something, I should call the police" turns into "that guy looks a bit suspicious, but if it's nothing I may get prosecuted, I'll just ignore it".
So really it should be up to the 999 operator to say "sorry sir, you're being an idiot, please go away".
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Re: Ignorance, stupidity or just plain selfish?

As I understand it..... 999 is for EMERGENCY USE..... i.e "life threatening" emergency....
Here in Portsmouth we have a subsidiary number for stuff like needing a doctor in emergency, ( sudden illness )...  or my neighbour has suspicious dark clothed people climbing in her back window...
it is  111....
not sure how effective it is ,(never had to use it) it is also for reporting the "naughty boys" kicking cans of beer around at 2 am... or just being a menace to society at any time..... but it has been around for a while, so must be doing some good...
apjashley1
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Re: Ignorance, stupidity or just plain selfish?

I'm a 999 Police operator, and I get annoyed by really stupid 999 calls but always take the call and then explain why it was inappropriate to use the emergency line for that purpose (not everyone knows about 101 yet).
In the force I work for call handlers take both 999 and 101 calls, so it doesn't make a massive difference unless the lines are busy. It's different in West Midlands where a 999 call handler ONLY takes emergency calls.
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Re: Ignorance, stupidity or just plain selfish?

101,... or 111... I may be confused on that.... probably 101... for the naughty boys kicking hell out of someones motor just for fun... I think the 111 number came from a notice I saw in the doctors waiting room for out of hours service ... although there is a full number for that too....
Community Veteran
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Re: Ignorance, stupidity or just plain selfish?

Yes you're right.  The non-emergency number for Police is 101 and for NHS is 111.  The NHS isn't nationwide at present but will be by April.
Community Veteran
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Re: Ignorance, stupidity or just plain selfish?

Two articles that explain what's going on:
Police
NHS
Calls to the Police cost 15p but and free to the NHS.
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Re: Ignorance, stupidity or just plain selfish?

there's also 112...
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itsme
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Re: Ignorance, stupidity or just plain selfish?

Sorry but if a crime has been committed, for example my car has been stolen, I will continue to use 999.
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Re: Ignorance, stupidity or just plain selfish?

Quote from: dvorak
there's also 112...

This is used in the EU (and other countries as well) but has not been promoted in the UK.  If it is dialled from here it is redirected to 999.