'Nuisance calls can cost lives' - Police warning over ringing 999

Norfolk police arrested three people and caught 41 drivers speeding in Great Yarmouth as part of Ope

Norfolk police have advised the public to dial 999 only in the event of an emergency. - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2016

Norfolk police have revealed cases of inappropriate phone calls to the 999 service, "which could be putting lives at risk".

A spokesperson for police highlighted two nuisance calls, with one including someone complaining about their son's dog.

One call was from "a male living in shared accommodation", stating someone has plugged in a table top fridge in the kitchen and thinks this is suspicious.

The caller could give no reasons as to why he thought the fridge was suspicious.

Police said the call was ended, "nothing for us".

Another call involved a father wanting police to tell his son to get rid of his dog, "as it poos in the house everywhere and is a nuisance and he wants him to get rid of it, but won’t listen to him".

Again, the call was ended, as it was not a police matter.

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Superintendent Jason Broome, head of Norfolk’s Contact and Control Room, said: “Common unnecessary 999 calls include noise nuisance, animal/wildlife call outs, utility call outs and highway matters, all of which could be better dealt with by partner agencies.

"Non-emergency or inappropriate calls tie up our phone lines and can prevent callers with genuine emergencies from getting through – at worst they can put other people’s lives at risk.

"People should only call 999 if there is a direct and immediate threat to life or property or if a crime is in progress.

"Our staff prioritises people who are in immediate need and if you ring 999 in error you will be directed to call the 101 police non-emergency number or sign-posted to the most appropriate agency.”

Elsewhere in Suffolk, police have started sharing inappropriate or nuisance calls on twitter using #Not999.

One example of nuisance calls they had received included someone who didn't want pizza for tea.

On the government website, it states people should call 999 "if you are reporting a crime that is in progress or if someone is in immediate danger".

For all other non-urgent police matters, people are encouraged to dial 101.

There is also a webform for non-emergency crimes, which can be found on the police website.