POLICE have released examples of inappropriate calls as a reminder to people when to dial 999 and when to call the non-emergency number 101.
The reminder from Derbyshire police comes on the second anniversary of the introduction of 101 as the number to call about issues that do not require an emergency response.
On average, Derbyshire police receives 385 calls per day on the 999 number and around one third of these are not genuine emergencies.
Inspector Dave Kirby from the force’s Contact Management department, said: “I would urge people to take a moment to think which number is the most suitable one to ring before calling the police.
“It should be clear as to what constitutes a real emergency situation.
“By ringing 999 when your call isn’t an emergency, you tie up call handlers whose time could be better spent dealing with situations where a life is in danger or a crime is in progress.
“Our call centre staff are highly trained and they are a real one stop shop when it comes to dealing with police enquiries. However, many of the 999 calls we receive are not emergencies and sometimes, they are not even about a policing matter.”
Police bossess have released examples of calls which were made by dialing 999 but were either not a police matter, or should have been made on the non-emergency number.
A woman from Chaddesden rang 999 in August, to say there was a spider in the house and her mum was out.
When the operator asked how old she was, she replied: “Well I’m nearly 48 but I’ve had to shut the bathroom window.”
She was asked if she knew it was illegal to call 999 unless it was a life or death emergency, to which she replied “well I thought that was really.”
In September, a woman from Duffield rang police to report that her phone was not working and so she was unable to let her hairdresser know show would not be able to get to an appointment.
Other calls made to the police via 999 which were not emergencies include a letter sent to the wrong address and a security-light shining outside a house in Derby.
Police have urged people to only call 999 in a real emergency - when a crime is happening, when someone suspected of a crime is nearby or where someone is injured, being threatened or is in danger.
For all other incidents or queries, including reporting criminal damage or a minor collision, people should ring 101.
The non-emergency number is a 24 hour service which should be used for all police matters of a non-urgent nature.
These include giving police information about a crime in the area. contacting a police officer or reporting a minor traffic collision.