We all know that computer games are addictive but not to the point where you need to dial for emergency help after you’ve become glued to the new Grand Theft Auto or FIFA. Well, that’s exactly what a couple astonishingly did in the past year when their son refused to stop gaming. Amazingly, they aren’t the only perpetrators of time-wasters for the helpline, leading to the NWP launching the #reducedemand campaign this month.
A woman reportedly resorted to 999 because she had “no money to call anyone else” when she accidentally lodged her sofa in a hallway. Another befuddling call came from a woman who was frustrated that she couldn’t get through to a catalogue company on the phone.
Takeaways felt the full brunt of the public’s wrath when they called in to complain of “fraud” when their food was delivered in sub-standard condition. Elsewhere, a young man tried to get the Police via e-mail to track a girl he was smitten with on holiday.
Considering the availability of the 101 service which is for non-essential help, these reports are shocking but not without understandable merit. As a last resort, people have increasingly been calling 999 as they don’t have credit for a regular call. Even though 101 is for less important support, fielding these sorts of enquiries still uses up precious police time.
Acting Supt Alex Goss was available for comment: “Each unnecessary call to us reduces time available for calls on genuine policing matters.
“Phoning 999, the emergency line, for trivial matters such as being annoyed with catalogue companies is a complete waste of resources, and could possibly prevent a genuine life or death emergency call being put through.”
The statistics back up his claims with the news that of the 520,000 phone calls the Police service received last year, only 46,000 were genuine crimes.
The message is simple: think twice before you dial. You should only call if you are in danger, receiving a threat of danger or are witnessing a crime. For general help, 101 is the number but a little bit of common sense is required.
With North Wales Police having limited resources to continue dealing with time-wasting, they are having a live webchat on their website at 2 p.m on the 10th of October to help spread awareness during their #reducedemand campaign.
A video playlist highlighting some #reducedemand points
“BADGE ” by www.flickr.com/photos/conner395
License available at creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/deed.en_GB