Friday 26 May 2017

Caller dials 999 to ask police to organise his taxi home

Police say 999 calls should be made only when there is a genuine emergency
Police say 999 calls should be made only when there is a genuine emergency

Police have condemned a 999 caller who phoned the emergency number to ask officers to arrange his taxi home on Christmas Eve.

Surrey Police released audio of the call to highlight the improper use of 999 and to drive home the message to call the number only in an emergency.

The man told the police call handler: "Just letting you know, it's Christmas, I'm smashed out of my nut..."

The operator replied: "Well, what can the police help you with on 999 today?"

The caller then said: "Well, get me a cab home."

The call handler told the man it was not a police issue, adding: "You're wasting police time by calling 999 to ask for a taxi."

Sarah Durston, head of the Surrey Police contact centre, said such calls posed a danger to its ability to react to genuine emergencies.

She said: "Although most people use the emergency number correctly, this call is a perfect example of when it has not been used correctly.

"This caller, who did not have an emergency, may have prevented someone else who was in danger from getting through to us. This presents a real risk to our ability to respond to genuine emergency calls.

"The 999 number must only be used for situations where a crime is actually in progress or someone is in danger."

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