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Last Updated: Monday, 26 December 2005, 11:13 GMT
Police warn drunken 999 callers
Emergency services in Devon and Cornwall are concerned about drunken people misusing 999 calls during the festive season.

Calls from drunken people waste the time of police, fire and ambulance services and prevent them from helping in real emergencies.

Hoax calls are also illegal and may cost the caller an 80 fine.

Chief Insp Nick Jarrold, of Devon and Cornwall Police, said, "People should think before they make a 999 call."

'Be clear'

999 callers should ask themselves if any of the following criteria apply:

  • A life threatening situation
  • People are seriously injured
  • Offenders are nearby
  • Immediate action is required?

Mr Jarrold said: "If you do call 999 listen carefully to the operator so you can be put you through to the relevant emergency service. Once you get through remember, be clear and concise, stay calm, tell us what is happening.

"Tell us where you are, describe your location and any landmarks. Tell us what emergency services are required

"If you ring when you have had too much to drink, your judgement and behaviour will be different. Is a 999 call really necessary?

"Some people ring 999 on their mobile because they have run out of credit and need to speak about a health problem or need advice about a crime.

"These are not emergency calls and they may be stopping someone who has a life and death situation getting through."

Student jailed for 999 hoax call
10 Oct 05 |  West Midlands

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