Kent Police is warning that inappropriate use of the emergency number 999 could be putting lives at risk.
In one seven hour shift in June, 44% of calls did not warrant an emergency response.
Some of the people who dialled 999 explained that they were not prepared to wait for the 101 service to be answered and others were short of mobile telephone credit so used 999 as it is free.
The public are being urged to only use 999 in a genuine emergency and to use 101 for all non-emergency situations.
An average of 1500 calls are made to the non-emergency 101 number in Kent every single day.
An average of 900 calls are made to Kent Police on the 999 number.
Examples of inappropriate calls taken by the 999 operatives:
- Report bad driving in the Dartford area that happened 10 minutes before
- Caller did not want to wait in the queue for 101
- Prank call made in Broadstairs
- Caller wanted update on a stolen car enquiry
- Caller wanted some information on a car being sold
- Mother refusing to hand over property following family dispute in Lydd
- Nuisance bike riding around a residential housing estate in East Malling
- Car speeding in Dartford – no registration given
Only call 999 when:
- There is a danger to life or a risk of injury being caused imminently. Examples include serious road accidents, assaults or serious disorders.
- A crime in in progress. Examples include assault, burglary, and theft or if an offender is still on scene, or has just left the scene.
- Police attendance is required immediately such as to prevent a breach of peace, someone acting suspiciously or someone who is about to commit an offence.
The family of a great-grandmother from Kent who fell over at home and later died, say they feel let down by the NHS. Christina Segan dialled 999 when her mum became ill but was told an ambulance would not be sent. An out-of-hours doctor was then called and visited, prescribing pain killers. But a few hours later, Daphne Huckstepp died from a heart attack. Tom Savvides has been talking to the family.
A young brother and sister have been praised by paramedics for dialing 999 when their mother injured her head. James Dean, who's 7, and his 6-year-old sister Annabelle raised the alarm when mum Stephanie fell off a chair in her garden in Kent. The swift actions of the two youngsters meant an ambulance was dispatched to take their mother to hospital. Tom Savvides has this report.
A 15-year-old girl from Westbury has been arrested after making 30 hoax calls to Wiltshire Police.
Most of the calls contained abusive and threatening language and during one of them, another caller who was in a genuine emergency only had seconds to tell operators her address.
If the operator had been delayed in answering this call, the consequences could have been tragic.
Operational Policing Superintendent Gavin Williams said, "The time wasted on dealing with hoax calls can mean the difference between life and death for people genuinely trying to contact us."
Wiltshire Police take on average 250 999 calls each day, with only a handful of them being urgent.
The quick thinking of 7-year old Kelsey Kent helped to save his father's life. Find out how by viewing this report by Tom Savvides. It includes interviews with Kelsey, his father Paul and paramedic Lee Oldridge.
Click video. With the good weather set to continue this week and beyond, emergency services are reminding people to take care in the sun. They received more 999 calls on Saturday than on New Year's Eve. Heather Edwards has our report.
Worthing Fire Station held an open day, when crews showed their work - and how to avoid tragedies. All of the emergency services took part. The public saw the crews dealing with simulated road accidents, chip pan fires and other incidents regularly attended by West Sussex Fire and Rescue.