Don't dial 999 for a headache, urge Dubai Police
The Dubai Police are flooded with weird calls about strange cases on 999 even though they do not classify as emergency.- Alamy Image
Dubai - A small boy called the police command room, telling them that he had lost his bicycle.
A worried mother called the Dubai Police emergency number 999 when she couldn't find her school-going child in his bed at night. The patrol team swung into action and reached her house, while pacifying the panicky woman. They searched the entire building, and found the child hiding on the rooftop of the house as he didn't want to go to school.
A man called the police emergency number in the middle of the night accusing his neighbour of poisoning to death his chickens, which he raised in his house. He told the police that he wanted to file a case against his neighbour right away.
A small boy called the police command room, telling them that he had lost his bicycle. The boy urged the police to find his bike and return his 'prized possession' to him.
A woman rang 999 and complained that she hired a maid from the recruitment office. However, she was not happy with her services and wanted to replace her with a more competent one. She was directed to the authorities concerned.
A European lady called the emergency number and said she was in distress after she found a bird with broken wing on Jumeirah beach. She requested the cops to dispatch an ambulance so that the bird can be treated quickly. The police sent a patrol to the site and took the woman with the bird to a specialized treatment center.
This is just the tip of the iceberg. The Dubai Police are flooded with weird calls about strange cases on 999 even though they do not classify as emergency. These range from the caller asking which tablet he/she should take for a headache to how to book a taxi.
The Dubai Police said some people use the emergency number for non-emergency purposes, asking them about locations of pharmacies and hospitals as well as government departments. Some enquire about speed limits on certain roads, traffic fines or to lodge complaint against taxi drivers.
Major Dr Mohammed Ali Obaid, director of contact center at the Dubai Police Command and Control, said that the police have to respond to all calls, though 999 is to help people who are in need of urgent help during emergencies. He said the calls are evaluated and sent to the nearest police patrol for action.
Some people are not aware that the 999 service is meant only for urgent police intervention and ambulance services. It is for reporting in emergency cases related to crime or traffic, or for ambulance. This service has been put in place to ensure speedy response to an emergency.
On the other hand, the call center service available on toll-free number 901 responds to customer queries about the Dubai Police services such as obtaining criminal record certificates, traffic violation certificates, obtaining burial permission, certificates for shifting of a body, subscribing to the house security surveillance, installation of the alarm system and so on. The centre also receives people's complaints and suggestions, and provides residents with general information about addresses, locations and phone numbers of the police departments and police stations. It also gives information about Dubai Police events.
So, the next time you need a headache pill or want a taxi booked, please don't call 999, the Dubai Police have urged. Because if you do so, you will be wasting the precious time of the cops and might even deny help to another person who needs it more than you.