West Yorkshire Police list 'ridiculous' 999 calls

  • Published

Police in West Yorkshire have revealed a list of "ridiculous" 999 calls which they say put lives at risk by diverting resources away from real emergencies.

One person dialled 999 to report a packet of rice missing from a cupboard while another called for advice about a snoring dog.

And one woman from West Yorkshire decided she needed police help when a black cat got into her house.

A police spokesman said: "These calls are so ridiculous it's astonishing."

The woman with the cat in her house spent almost two minutes telling a 999 operator she needed police assistance.

'Life or death'

Emergency operators in the county have also taken calls about a broken freezer and a dead pigeon in a garden.

Ch Insp Michael Quirk, of West Yorkshire Police's communications division, said: "Each call often takes minutes to deal with as our staff have to clarify the situation.

"It might not sound like much but if someone is trying to get through to report a genuine life or death emergency then a minute is a very long time to wait.

"I cannot stress enough that the 999 number is for emergencies only."

'Silly calls'

He said that was defined as a situation where there was likely to be danger to life, the use of or immediate threat of violence, serious injury to a person or serious damage to property.

Mr Quirk said: "Typically we receive over 1,000 calls a day to the 999 number and our operatives have to deal with each one accordingly.

"Demand for our services often increases when we have issues such as the recent heavy snowfall to contend with.

"With more snow forecast, and the festive season to deal with, it is more important than ever that we are able to deal with emergencies as quickly as possible and not have our time taken up with silly calls."

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