An overcooked banana and a broken tap are just two of the 999 emergency calls taken by Nottinghamshire Police’s control room staff so far in 2016.
Now Nottinghamshire Police are asking the general public to think before they pick up the phone and dial 999, and not to waste scarce and valuable police time, when that time could be better used helping members of the public who do genuinely need assistance.
The control room received 1,978 hoax or inappropriate calls between April 2015 and March 2016, one per cent of all calls taken.
The force receives more than 480 emergency 999 calls a day, with on average six inappropriate calls a day.
An awareness campaign has been running on the force’s Facebook page since May asking the public to make a decision in various situations from real life calls to the call centre at Force HQ in Arnold.
Superintendent Paul Burrows said: “The majority of calls we receive are for genuine emergencies and are hugely important, however sometimes through the 999 system, calls are neither an emergency nor a police matter.
“Avoiding such call allows us to be available when the public really do need us.
“These ten calls are just a sample of inappropriate calls received by our operators this year.
“Remember, you can find out information on a whole range of subjects through the Advice Centre on the force website and you can speak to us by calling 101 and, only in an emergency, dial 999.
“We are a very busy dealing with genuine calls for service and the examples below along with other such calls, do delay our ability to pick up the phone to someone in real need of help.”
Ten inappropriate calls made on the ‘999’ emergency number during 2016:
1) There is a learner driver that keeps on driving around the block. I’m suspicious because they are going very slowly and have twice gone up and down my street.
2) I’ve cooked a banana and it’s turned black. What do I do?
3) I’ve just opened the front door and the alarm is now going off and I don’t know the code.
4) I’m watching TV with my two grandchildren, whilst my wife was watching TV in the kitchen. Suddenly she could see my daughter on the settee appearing on the TV. What’s going on?
5) I’m locked outside after a night out and can’t get in. I’m cold, but I can’t break into my house because I’m drunk.
6) I need to renew my driving licence.
7) My tap has broken and there is water going everywhere.
8) I’ve ordered a taxi from Gamston to West Bridgford, but the driver didn’t know where he was going.
9) I’ve been given a parking ticket in Hyson Green.
10) I’ve been refused entry by the bouncers to the nightclub, but I’m not drunk.