‘Hello police..? I think I can see a UFO..’

18:18 17 August 2012

Busy summer for police in North Devon.

Busy summer for police in North Devon.

Archant

Police urge 999 time wasters to ‘think first’ after releasing shocking recording of ridiculous calls to the emergency number — including the man who thought he had seen a UFO and a woman who lost her glasses outside Specsavers...

UFOs and lost spectacles are among a host of time-wasting emergency calls listed by police as the force urges people to ‘Think First’ before dialling 999.

Devon and Cornwall Police is launching the ‘Think First’ campaign after an increase in the number of callers reporting non-emergency matters on the emergency number,

Superintendent Craig Downham, head of call management and communications at Devon and Cornwall Police, said: “There has been a marked increase in people calling 999 for non-emergencies.

“The 999 number should only be used for situations where life is threatened, people are injured, offenders are nearby or if immediate action is required with an urgent response. 999 should only be used in an emergency.”

Inappropriate calls clog up the emergency helpline and could be putting the lives of people who need immediate assistance at risk.

Call handlers reported a number of 999 calls in recent weeks, which included a man who was annoyed at his neighbour’s noisy radio and a woman standing outside of Specsavers saying she had lost her glasses.

Another call involved a woman who asked officers to come check her plug sockets were working correctly, who, after being challenged about calling the emergency number admitted she had also called the fire service who refused to help.

One caller dialled 999 to report UFOs in the sky which was actually lights from a concert being held at the Eden Project.

Other common calls involve requests for taxi numbers of Friday and Saturday nights, and the sentence ‘Well, it’s not really an emergency, but I didn’t know the right number to call.’

All non-emergency matters should be dealt with by calling 101, which costs 15p from a landline or mobile phone, and is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

* Listen to some examples of the time-wasting 999 calls by clicking the link in the top right of the page.

999-calls

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