Feeds

Hamster-in-rain emergency prompts 999 call

Weary South Wales cops finger phone timewasters

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

South Wales police force has published a list of top time-wasting 999 calls during the past year in an attempt to convince people not to pick up the phone unless it's really necessary.

According to icWales, the highlight of 2007 came when one woman demanded officers come and cuff her boyfriend because he'd put her hamster out in the rain. Another caller explained: “My husband has the TV remote and won’t let me watch EastEnders.”

The list continues with the anxious citizen who admitted: “I don’t have £1 for a supermarket trolley”, and one flustered bookworm who offered: “A friend has my library card, can you come and arrest her?”

Our fave, though, is the bloke who enquired: “Can the police come round and take my mother-in-law away? She has been here for 18 days.”

The South Wales cops said one in ten emergency calls they receive are either "inappropriate or a deliberate misuse of the 999 system", and they now plan to use psychology to stem the tide.

Traditionally, the 999 operators have greeted callers with a cheery “South Wales Police, how can I help?” They will in future declare “South Wales Police, what is your emergency?”, which will apparently prompt the person on the other end of the line to ponder whether or not their situation really is a matter of life or death.

This subtle but significant change in wording has reportedly proved successful in New York and San Diego, and Superintendent Kevin O’Neill, divisional commander for communication at South Wales Police, explained: “For many years we have been trying to educate the public on what is or isn’t a 999 call, but one in ten 999 calls made to South Wales Police are still inappropriate or a deliberate misuse of the system.

“Now we are going a step further in our campaign to reduce the number of non-urgent calls to 999 by making this simple but hopefully effective way in which our controllers answer calls."

O'Neill concluded with the obligatory plea: “Calling 999 with an unnecessary non-emergency call could block a genuine call for vital seconds and put lives at risk. We would ask people to work with us so our operators are free to help callers who do need urgent help.” ®

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
Are you a fat boy? Get to university NOW, you PENNILESS SLACKER
Rotund types paid nearly 20% less than people who didn't eat all the pies
Emma Watson should SHUT UP, all this abuse is HER OWN FAULT
... said an anon coward who we really wish hadn't posted on our website
Japan develops robot CHEERLEADERS which RIDE on BALLS
'Will put smiles on faces worldwide', predicts corporate PR chief
Bruges Booze tubes to pump LOVELY BEER underneath city
Belgian booze pumped from underground
Oz carrier Tiger Air takes terror alerts to new heights
Don't doodle, it might cost you your flight
Amazon: Wish in one hand, Twit in the other – see which one fills first
#AmazonWishList A year's supply of Arran scotch, ta
Let it go, Steve: Ballmer bans iPads from his LA Clippers b-ball team
Can you imagine the scene? 'Hey guys, it's your new owner – WTF is that on your desk?'
Oi, London thief. We KNOW what you're doing - our PRECRIME system warned us
Aye, shipmate, it be just like that Minority Report
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.