Friday 23 August 2019

Police do I do bird?

One caller rang 999 to ask how long they should cook a chicken for
One caller rang 999 to ask how long they should cook a chicken for
Time-wasting emergency calls to Cumbria Police have included a plea for advice on how to roast a chicken

What temperature to oven cook a chicken and requests for taxi numbers are just some of the 999 "emergency" calls a police force has received.

Cumbria Police has since launched a campaign to raise awareness of the different policing services available to ensure people get the right response and information for the right situation.

Information leaflets and cards will be distributed to local police desks and social media feeds will focus on directing people towards the most appropriate service for their needs, with the hashtag PolicingCumbria.

Chief Superintendent Steve Johnson said he hoped the campaign would make people think before picking up the phone and dialling 999 - which could prevent an urgent call from getting through.

He said: " We get many people calling us to ask for the number of a taxi firm or to ask directions, and we even recently had a caller ask what temperature they should put the oven on to cook a chicken.

"This may seem amusing, but it could have prevented us from speaking to someone who required an urgent response."

As a result of the campaign which also encourages people to look to their website, it is hoped that unnecessary demand on the service will be reduced and officers will have more time to focus on tackling crime.

Mr Johnson added: "We always encourage people to dial 999 straight away in an emergency, but we want to make sure they realise that there are other ways to contact police when an immediate response is not required.

"We also aim to highlight where the police aren't the correct agency to contact for a solution. For instance when someone finds a stray dog, has a parking problem or wants to report lost property - these aren't matters for the police and we want to educate the public on where they should go instead, and how they should contact the correct organisation."

PA Media

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