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Police warning - Only dial 999 in an emergency

Dorset Police say only dial nine, nine, nine in an emergency.

The video starts with footage of a female member of the Dorset Police Control Room participating in a reconstruction of a genuine emergency telephone call from a member of the public. She is sat in front of her computer screens entering details at they are provided by the caller.

This is an emergency - but many calls are not which make it difficult for control room staff.

The video now switches to a brief interview with Inspector Ian Roe, Control Room :

“General frustration I think, if there are other 999 calls coming in that you can see need answering and everybody in there wants to answer the calls as quickly as possible, it’s very frustrating to be tied up on a call, where you clearly know it’s not an emergency and that another call could be somebody needing emergency assistance in a life threatening situation”.

Nuisance and malicious calls are done for fun, to order taxi’s, and even for lost property.

The video now cuts to a male member of the Dorset Police Control Room staff who is seen receiving a telephone call from a member of the public reporting some lost property, in this case a purse. The operator gives the caller the 222222 number to report the loss.

The video ends with a graphic illustrating the times when you should call 999, and provides the 01305 or 01202 222222 number you can use to contact Dorset Police when it’s not an emergency.

Dial nine, nine, nine only: when a crime is in progress, life or injury is threatened, or an offender is still in the area.  Otherwise, always use the dialling code for Dorchester or Bournemouth, plus double two, double two, double two.  That goes straight through to the main switchboard which is answered twenty-four seven. 

ISSUED: 15 June 2009