Audio: Police bid to curb nuisance 999 calls

A COMPILATION of non 999 calls have been made available to the public in a bid to curb the number of nuisance calls the police receive.Five calls have been posted on the Cambridgeshire Constabulary website (www.cambs.police.uk) so members of the public

A COMPILATION of 'non' 999 calls have been made available to the public in a bid to curb the number of nuisance calls the police receive.

Five calls have been posted on the Cambridgeshire Constabulary website (www.cambs.police.uk) so members of the public can hear nuisance 999 calls.

The calls include a woman asking to speak to the Prime Minister, a motorist trying to find a DIY store and someone informing police there is pole dancing in his neighbourhood.

Chief Inspector Mike Winters said: "We wouldn't just simply put the phone down without engaging in conversation. We have to explore the reasons for the call to make an assessment about how genuine it is.

"However we will have to get stricter in pointing out that people should be ringing the non-emergency number in the majority of occasions, not 999."

If life or property is in immediate danger, 999 should be called. For all other reasons, 0845 4564564 is the non emergency number. If the call operator then believes it is an emergency, the call is simply transferred to the control room at Hinchingbrooke police headquarters.

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"At the moment we are tending to hang on to nuisance callers too long in an effort to help them but this could be detrimental to other people in genuine need.

"You can rest assured that the night time economy and people drinking alcohol will increase the calls we get overall, but also increase the non-emergency calls we get on our 999 line," added Ch Insp Winters.

In any day the control room answers between 350 and 600 '999' calls. It is said 97 per cent of all calls are answered within 10 seconds. The national standard is 90 per cent.

Ch Insp Winters said: "Even with our excellent call answering performance, we cannot accept nuisance, hoax or mistaken calls.

"The message is; don't put lives at risk by calling 999 when you do not need an emergency police response.

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