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Last Updated: Friday, 20 October 2006, 18:46 GMT 19:46 UK
Crackdown on hoax emergency calls
People who call 999 because their boiler has broken down or want to order a taxi will be prosecuted, police warn.

Dorset Police receives about 97,000 emergency calls from the public every year, but estimates that about 70% of these are not emergencies at all.

A police spokesman said: "Calls to the 999 number to check the weather forecast or to let us know a boiler has broken down are not acceptable."

The force now plans to trace nuisance calls and issue fines or seize phones.

Call made to Dorset Police
Caller: "I can't get any cigarettes from anyone over here."
Operator: "It's not really an emergency though is it."
Caller: "Well it is to me."

One woman called 999 to tell police: "A pigeon has been run over and I've got no money to phone the RSPCA or anything."

On another occasion, a man called to complain that his wife had not left him any sandwiches for his tea.

Supt Martin Hiles said: "The 999 is not a number to ring if you have run out of cigarettes and would like us to get you some more, neither is it the number to ring because you are running out of credit on your mobile phone and you'd like us to order a taxi for you.

"The 999 emergency number saves lives and if it is blocked by people ringing for the wrong reasons, then they are endangering the lives of others."




SEE ALSO
Force crackdown on 999 hoax calls
03 Oct 06 |  Lancashire
Emergency call hoaxers arrested
14 Sep 06 |  Somerset
Police make emergency call appeal
07 Sep 06 |  South of Scotland
Phone challenges cut hoax calls
23 Mar 06 |  Cornwall
Mobiles cut off in hoax crackdown
24 Mar 06 |  Merseyside

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