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.
Safety changes have been made to the new smart motorway in Surrey and Hampshire less than two weeks after it opened.
Emergency refuges for drivers to stop on the M3 are being made more visible with new prominent signs and orange road surfaces.
The AA said it had serious safety concerns and welcomed the move but said it doesn't go far enough.
The hard shoulder has been turned into a running lane to ease congestion.
There is still a 50 mph limit because the electronic signs that will control the scheme are being tested.
Highways England say if the new style refuge is a success they will be put on other smart motorways on the M25 and others planned for the M4, M27 and M23 near Gatwick.
Jack Cousens, The AA
100 volunteers have been keeping a watchful eye over our waters for the last two years but the team at Calshot in Hampshire has officially become part of the Maritime Search and Rescue Emergency services.
The tower which overlooks Southampton Water from Portsmouth to Yarmouth is one of the most iconic watch stations along our coastline .
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Five people have been rescued by a lifeboat after their motor boat begantaking on water when an engine component failed.
Both Calshot lifeboats were launched at 4:50 pm after a report from Solent Coastguard that the boat was in difficulty off Calshot beach.
The 18 foot motor boat with seven people on board, four adults and three children began to pump seawater into its engine compartment after an intake hose failed.
One adult and all of the children aboard were taken on to Calshot’s lifeboat which had been out on a training exercise
The boats skipper was taken aboard Calshot’s Atlantic 85 lifeboat Max Walls_ and returned to Calshot to get equipment to retrieve his boat.
An Eastern Airways aircraft flying from Southampton has made an emergency landing at Newcastle International Airport after the pilot discovered a fault with an instrument panel in the cockpit. All the passengers have since transferred and departed on another flight to Aberdeen.
The airline has apologised to passengers for the inconvenience and say they will always err on the side of caution as safety is paramount.
A major security exercise is underway at the Port of Dover designed to test the ability of Kent's emergency services to deal with a terror attack.The scenario is that two terrorists have detonated a 'dirty bomb', exposing 50 border control staff to hazardous chemicals.
Hundreds of paramedics, firefighters and police are taking part in a simulation in the port of Dover.
Crews will be cleaning up a simulated chemical spill from a lorry which has accidentally dropped its hazardous cargo.
Officers are keen to stress that this is an exercise so residents should not be alarmed if they hear sirens in the area.