07/14/2000

999 TO GET A SLUG OUT OF THE BATH; CRAZY CALLS THAT WASTE POLICE TIME

Daily Record -- A woman rang police in a panic after finding a slug in her bath. She was among dozens of people criticised yesterday for abusing the 999 number. Police said they put lives at risk by tying up the emergency services. In other cases, one man demanded detectives investigate a chip shop where he claimed he had been short-changed. And another dialled 999 to ask police to ring his flatmate and ask him to come to the door because he was locked out. He told police he hadn't called his friend "because 999 is free". Another woman phoned up asking officers to call her aunt in London so she could tell her about a dream. Police say the time-wasting calls rise when drinkers roll back from the pubs. One man called after a heavy session to book a Panda car for a ride home. He told officers he would like the patrol car to pick him up at 3am. The time-wasters were logged during a one-month crackdown by Fife, Central Scotland, and Lothian and Borders forces. Police said they were hoping to highlight the need to dial 999 only in a genuine emergency and to report minor and non-urgent information to local police stations. The campaign also aimed to raise awareness of accidental calls on mobile phones, which can be set off in handbags or pockets.

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