1. ITV Report

Time-wasting 999 calls released by police

Police control room staff are warning of the dangers of time-wasting 999 calls. Photo: Press Association

Who would be the first person to call if you had forgotten a password for your laptop?

Perhaps the place you bought the computer from or your internet provider? How about 999?

No, really.

It was that very trivial problem that prompted one person to call 999 and speak to West Midlands Police control room staff.

Today, that time-wasting call and others have been released by West Midlands Police in a bid to make others think-twice before making similar calls, which they say put lives at risk.

Other calls released from the Midlands force include a man who had been refused service at McDonalds and a man who wanted to know if he had to use an area code when calling the non-emergency police number 101.

Listen to the time-wasting 999 calls here:

These calls are ridiculous and it doesn't end just there.

We regularly receive calls on the 9s [999 number] about lost property, people asking for directions and from people who have been denied entry to a nightclub.

It's astonishing listening to them but they hide a serious truth.

Each call often takes minutes to deal with as staff have to clarify the situation.

It might not sound like much but, if someone is trying to get through to report a genuine life or death emergency, then a minute is a very long time to wait. I cannot stress enough that the 999 number is for emergencies only, for guidance this is defined as: a crime is in progress, someone suspected of a crime is nearby, when there is danger to life or when violence is being used or threatened.

To contact police for any other reason, call 101.

– Sally Holmes, West Midlands Police

For the next 24 hours, West Midlands Police's emergency call takers will be tweeting live from the control room with details of the calls they receive: