Page last updated at 10:58 GMT, Monday, 15 September 2008 11:58 UK

Pet bunny's ears prompt 999 call

Pet rabbit
The woman was unhappy with the ears of her rabbit

A woman dialled 999 because a rabbit she bought via a newspaper advert did not have floppy ears, Central Scotland Police have said.

The force is urging the public not to dial 999 unless they are faced with a genuine emergency.

The reminder comes after operators, who receive 34,000 999 calls a year, said the number was being dialled for "wholly inappropriate reasons".

One call was from a woman splashed by a car which drove through a puddle.

The force said staff were verbally abused after challenging her for using the emergency line for her complaint.

Another man dialled 999 to ask call centre staff for the postcode to Grangemouth police station.

'Public safety'

Ch Insp Alan Stewart, of the force communications and control centre, said people who disregarded advice only to use the number in an emergency were putting lives at risk.

He said: "Whilst officers and staff are dealing with these frivolous matters that a member of the public has deemed so serious as to call 999, they are not dealing with genuine emergency calls.

"It is unbelievable that anyone should phone 999 to report being soaked by a passing car, ask for a postcode or report that the item bought from a newspaper advert was not as described."

"In such circumstances life can be at stake and as swift and efficient a response as possible is required to ensure public safety.

"Nuisance calls to the 999 system put that response at risk."

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