What would you do if you were having problems getting served at McDonalds or you had forgotten your laptop password?
For some West Midlands residents the answer was to dial the emergency only 999 number and ask for police assistance.
And the bizarre calls to the police don’t end there. Residents have called the three 9s for emergencies including lost property, asking for directions and when they’ve been denied entry to a nightclub.
But there is a serious side to these calls – the people ringing 999 for inappropriate reasons are potentially putting lives by taking call handlers’ time away from genuine emergency calls. Chief Inspector Sally Holmes from Force Contact at West Midlands Police, said: “These calls are ridiculous. Its astonishing listening to them but they hide a serious truth. Each call often takes minutes to deal with as our 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, for guidance this is defined as: a crime is in progress, someone suspected of a crime is nearby, when there is a danger to life or when violence is being used or threatened. To contact police for any other reason, call 101.”