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Inappropriate use of 999 puts lives at risk

Credit: Kent Police

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

We’re not doing this to shame or embarrass the people who’ve dialled 999. We just want people to think first whether their call really does constitute a real emergency. We are currently experiencing an extremely high number of calls to both 999 and 101 and at peak times it can take us longer than usual to answer 101 calls as emergency calls are prioritised."

"Our operators answer calls as quickly as possible, in strict priority order and I’d ask people to be patient and try again later if possible. We are looking at ways to reduce call congestion and developing ways that the public can report some matters online and make contact via the Kent Police Website."

– Chief Superintendent Nicola Faulconbridge, Head of Crime and Incident Response

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 just 2 weeks in to 'smart' motorway

The new orange refuge area on the M3 'smart' motorway Credit: Highways England

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

We know that smart motorways are safe. But we also recognise that drivers need to have confidence when using them and be clear about where they can stop in an emergency."

“That is why we are trialling these highly visible new style emergency areas. The bright orange colouring will make them as easy as possible to spot and should also discourage drivers from using them in non-emergency situations."

“This is just one of the ways we are helping drivers to understand smart motorways and their benefits. I hope it helps drivers feel more confident about using a smart motorway.”

– Jim O’Sullivan, CEO Highways England

Our roads are some of the safest in the world but we are always looking at making them safer."

"Smart motorways are adding extra lanes to our busiest motorways and – as recent evidence shows – reducing the rate of crashes."

"We are making emergency refuge areas more visible to ensure motorists in trouble can easily identify where to stop safely."

– Chris Grayling, Transport Secretary


Calshot Tower to officially take on emergency role

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 .

Click below for the full report

Lifeboat rescues crew of stricken motor boat

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.

Statement on Southampton plane's emergency landing

During flight between Southampton and Aberdeen, the captain of T3 4902 reported a fault relating to some of the cockpit instruments and as a precaution opted to divert to Newcastle Airport.

The Jetstream 41 aircraft with 12 passengers and three crew on board landed safely in Newcastle at 8.25am.

The aircraft then taxied to stand and passengers disembarked as normal via the aircraft steps.

We have launched an investigation and engineers are inspecting the aircraft.



Southampton to Aberdeen flight diverts to Newcastle

Library Picture: The Eastern Airways Jetstream 41 aircraft diverted to Newcastle Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

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.