Some people are not aware that the 999 service is meant only for urgent police intervention and ambulance services.
Emergency call operators received calls from people for the strangest reasons over the last one year. The complaints ranged from delay in serving breakfast, requesting for a female taxi driver, and last but not the least, a whistling driver.
The Scotland Yard (UK) had also released a series of calls in order to shed light on the problem of the time wasted over calls like these.
According to a report in the Metro, the operators also received a call from a woman who called to wish the operators a Happy New Year on January 1.
A person also called up the emergency number to report that a fast food restaurant had run out of chicken.
David Jackson, the Chief Superintendent of Scotland Yard's conveyed the fact that the time that the call handlers waste in attending such superficial calls, a person could be in real danger. Or the fact that a resident might be in the process of calling the authorities regarding some important information that could take a dangerous person off the streets.
Earlier during the year, a Khaleej Times news article reported that the Dubai Police were also 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.