A BROKEN toenail, a contactless bank card being declined, benefits not being paid.

These are just some of the nuisance calls West Yorkshire Police has received to the 999 emergency line. 

Tom Donohoe, head of the Communications Division, said: "Each call often takes minutes to deal with as our Customer Contact Centre staff have to clarify the situation – it might not sound like much but if someone is trying to get through to report a genuine life or death emergency then a minute is a very long time to wait."

"I cannot stress enough that the 999 number is for emergencies only.  For guidance this can be defined as:

When there is likely to be:

  • a danger to life
  • use, or immediate threat of violence
  • serious injury to a person; and / or
  • serious damage to property.

"Emergency graded incidents will result in an immediate response and it is imperative the West Yorkshire Police are in a position to receive the call and dispatch appropriate resources without delay."

"Typically we receive over 1,000 calls a day to the 999 number and our operatives have to deal with each one accordingly."

He added: “The inappropriate calls are bad enough – but for someone to maliciously dial 999 to take up police time, knowing they are making a false report, is simply unacceptable.”

“On average we receive around 6,000 hoax calls per year – which is around 19 every day of the year.

“The public must be made aware that we will pursue those involved in malicious calls with vigour until they are brought to justice. The punishment for Wasting Police Time can be 6 months imprisonment."