The Metropolitan Police Contact Centre has asked members of the public to think before they dial after a male called 999 and asked for the police owing to the fact that his breakfast was late.
The audio recording of the call has been released (scroll down) in order to highlight how hoax or inappropriate 999 calls can have the effect of preventing someone who is in genuine need of help from getting the assistance which they require.
In the call, a male says
“I was sat for about half an hour, waiting for my breakfast and it didn’t turn up”.
In response, the calm and professional 999 call handler says:
“so there is no police emergency then, you just didn’t get your breakfast as quickly as you wanted it”.
A spokesperson for the Met Contact Centre said:
‘Imagine if one of your friends or loved ones was in need of the police as quickly as possible and it turned out we could not help because we were having to deal with one of these calls”
The bizarre call highlights the sort of pressure that 999 call handlers are under when they have to waste their time speaking to individuals who have blatantly misused and/or abused the emergency 999 system.
Unfortunately, calls such as this one are not rare and we even have a dedicated section on our website that catalogues the time-wasting calls which have been made to the emergency services and which could never be regarded as an emergency.
Police, ambulance, fire and coastguard control rooms only have a limited number of lines into their ‘hubs’ and people who abuse the 999 system in this way risk
Our colleagues in control rooms up-and-down the country should not have to waste their time speaking to individuals such as the male in this call who clearly should have known better than to call 999 because his breakfast was late.
How anyone with an ounce of common sense could ever come to the conclusion that a late breakfast is worthy of a 999 call is beyond me.
Of course, there will be 999 calls which are made by people who, for example, have learning difficulties and who genuinely do not realise that the 999 system is for emergencies only.
But the male in this call seems to honestly believe that his late breakfast should be reported as an emergency.
The mind boggles.
If you are unsure as to what does and what does not constitute a police emergency, then there is a great bit of information, hosted on the Gov.uK website, that can help you to understand when a call to the emergency services should and should not be made.
If you would like to know more, then CLICK HERE
999 call handlers do an incredibly stressful job without having to waste their time dealing with time wasters like the male in this call.
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