Third of 999 calls to Derbyshire Police 'not genuine'

Derbyshire Police said a third of 999 calls it had received in the past six months were not genuine emergencies.

The force said it had received more than 20,000 "false" 999 calls since April 2011.

Chief Constable Mick Creedon said he thought the problem was down to a lack of familiarity with the local-rate non-emergency number.

The current 0345 number is due to be replaced in Derbyshire by 101 on 24 October.

Duplicated messages

A total of 61,305 calls were made to the emergency response centre between April and September 2011.

But 20,206 of those were classed as "false" by the force.

The force admitted that a small percentage of those calls would be duplicated messages where several 999 calls were made about the same incident.

Mr Creedon told the Derbyshire Police Authority that he hoped "that the introduction of 101 will reduce these numbers".

He added: "These figures may appear excessive but are in line with the experience of other forces."

It is the first time the force has calculated the amount of non-genuine emergency calls it receives.

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