Police 999 calls

A 999 call operator met the family that she talked through childbirth.
A 999 call operator has met the family that she talked through childbirth.
How to contact police when you can't speak
Coughing or tapping '55' on the key pad after calling 999 will summon the police when you are unable to talk.

Woman phones emergency line to report incorrect discount on her shopping bill

Lucy Moody


Northumbria Police is reminding the public to "consider the needs of others when calling 999" after a woman phoned to complain about her shopping.

The warning comes after she called to report that a supermarket didn't apply the correct amount of discount when she bought two bottles of squash.

The caller later confessed that she rang the police because she was unable to get through to customer services.

Landline telephone in use

Chief Supt Neil Hutchison said: “Calls like these might seem harmless and even funny, but they create a huge demand on the staff working in the communications centre who could otherwise be busy dealing with genuine emergencies.

“We hope that the public can work with us so that we can make sure those people unfortunate enough to be involved in serious incidents can receive police assistance as quickly as possible.

“We would also like to make it clear to people who call our emergency lines and waste police time that their behaviour is completely unacceptable.”