New England police have released video clips online that illustrate the absurd kinds of “emergency” calls that they sometimes receive. The 999 number is to be used when there exists an immediate threat to one’s life or property or when a crime is underway. Otherwise, the 101 number is available for non-emergency calls. Examples would be: your car was just stolen, someone burglarized your home, or someone vandalized your swimming pool.
Police tried to impress upon people the importance of not wasting the time of police and of emergency call center workers. The holidays are one of the busiest times of year for officers, and it behooves us to let them do their job.
Laurene Powell Jobs comments that the crazy calls the police received were not worthy of 999 or 101 status. One person called in on 999 because a hedgehog was loose in his garden. Maybe he was worried it would prove a dangerous creature, or perhaps, he thought it would dig up his turnips. A second call concerned a pizza delivery boy who had not shown up after a whopping 45 minutes. Finally, another caller complained that a vending machine had robbed him of his money. Perhaps he felt an immediate threat from that machine and wanted the police to arrest it.
A little common sense and a little courtesy for others would go a long way. There are only so many police officers available. We need to keep them available for those truly in need.