Nottinghamshire Police reveal spike in nuisance 999 calls is 'putting lives at risk'
Calls about Amazon parcel deliveries and advice on the height of a fence are among some of the nuisance 999 calls to Nottinghamshire Police.
The force has revealed that one person dialed 999 for a witness to sign documents to help them get a job in Germany – while someone used the emergency number to request Covid advice about outdoor gatherings.
Another thought it was fine to ring 999 to alert the force two ducks had been found, while in one astonishing incident a caller put the emergency operator on hold while they took another call.
One person even called back using the emergency number to apologise for mistakenly ringing 999 minutes earlier.
The shock revelations come as the force says it has faced a ‘huge surge’ in calls to its 999 and 101 numbers.
On Tuesday, numbers were ‘off the scale’ and, in just three hours, 600 emergency and non-emergency calls were received.
Over the past month, the number of 999 calls shot up from an average of 3,900 per week in May to 4,950 in June – with 60 per cent of them non-emergencies.
Officers are now urging people to ‘think twice’ before dialling 999.
Supt Suk Verma, head of contact management, said: "We think this is a result of the hot weather, the football championships and more people being out and about as a result of the restrictions recently easing.
“We often see a spike when the weather is better but not on a scale like this.
"We are seeing this spike repeatedly night after night and now and it has got to stop. We cannot have people’s lives put in danger because people are ringing for ridiculous reasons.
“I would urge people to think twice before calling us. If it is an emergency and life is in danger or a crime is in progress then please ring 999 immediately. If it is a non-emergency but still requires police assistance then please ring 101 or visit our website.
“Last weekend, the force call handlers received 1,600 emergency calls via the 999 number, a high percentage not being an emergency.
“Seconds and minutes are precious in emergency situations and can mean the difference between life and death for those that really need our support.”