1. ITV Report

"My phone's out of credit. Can you call my mom?" 999 calls hit record levels

On 7 July West Midlands Police call handlers received 3,276 emergency calls Photo: PA

West Midlands Police have urged the public to think twice before dialling 999 after registering a record number of emergency calls in a 24-hour period.

On 7 July call handlers received 3,276 emergency calls which is up around 40 per cent on average - and the most ever taken by the force in a single day.

The force says a surge in genuine 999 calls can be blamed on the World Cup, the summer heatwave and excess alcohol.

But they some members of the public are still abusing the emergency services system by reporting "trivial, non-police matters", "clogging up" phone lines.

Nuisance calls have included:

  • A man dialling 999 to report his wife “snoring like a motorbike"
  • Another deeming his neighbour power-washing a garden path to be an emergency
  • One young man asking call handlers to contact his mum as he’d "run out of phone credit".

Lyndsey Swallow, head of Contact Handling at WMP, said the 999 service was "precious":

It should be reserved for emergency incidents, when people are in danger, or to report crimes in progress.

We are here to help and protect the public − but anyone who repeatedly abuses the system could face prosecution for wasting police time.

– Lyndsey Swallow, head of Contact Handling, West Midlands Police