Boy 'dialled 999 over Xbox rebuke'
Published 19/07/2011 | 16:25
A 13-year-old boy dialled 999 after his parents told him off for playing on his Xbox console at 11pm, police have said.
It was one of thousands of hoax, silent or frivolous calls Durham Police deal with every year.
The force released a transcript of a call-handler ringing back the household to ask if there was a real emergency.
The apologetic father replied: "It was my son. He rang 999 because we were telling him off for being naughty.
"He's 13. I took him off his Xbox, it was 11 o'clock and it was time for him to go to bed."
The handler replied: "That sounds about right. As long as he's OK and you don't need the police."
Durham Police also said it received a call from "a man reporting concern for two ducks sitting by the side of a boating lake in Newton Aycliffe".
These were in addition to time-wasters shouting abuse at call handlers. bomb hoaxers and teenagers daring each other to call 999.
Chief Inspector Stu Exley said: "The 999 system is for use in an emergency, for example when life is at risk or a crime is in progress. But it seems a lot of people cannot get this into their heads, and use the number almost as a free phone book."