Police condemn 'rabbit ears' 999 call

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The Independent Online

A woman dialled 999 to report that the rabbit she had just bought did not have floppy ears, police said today.

The caller phoned the emergency number when she discovered the pet's ears did not live up to their description in a newspaper advert.

Other nuisance calls revealed by Stirling-based Central Scotland Police included two people who dialled 999 after being splashed by cars in wet weather.

Another caller asked for the postcode of Grangemouth police station.

The force today condemned the calls as "unbelievable and frivolous" and said they were putting at risk the police's ability to respond to life-or-death emergencies.

In one of the calls, a man reported being soaked by a car driving through a puddle as he walked along a pavement.

Just moments before, a woman called making an identical claim. When she was told calling 999 for such incidents was inappropriate, she verbally abused the call handler.

Chief Inspector Alan Stewart, of the force communications and control centre, said: "It is unbelievable that anyone should phone 999 to report being soaked by a passing car, ask for a postcode or report that the item bought from a newspaper advert was not as described."

He went on: "These are examples of how people clearly do not think when they pick up the phone and dial this number.

"Whilst officers and staff are dealing with these frivolous matters that a member of the public has deemed so serious as to call 999, they are not dealing with genuine emergency calls.

"This should serve as a reminder that the 999 system is for real emergencies only, in such circumstances life can be at stake and as swift and efficient a response as possible is required to ensure public safety.

"Nuisance calls to the 999 system put that response at risk."