A SQUIRREL lying on the ground in a park was just one of the recent nonsense calls received by Warwickshire Police.
It has prompted police chiefs to appeal to people to stop and think after a resident called police genuinely concerned about a squirrel lying on the ground in a park – it appeared to be dead but being unaware of which service to contact, they called the police.
Over the summer months Warwickshire Police receive the highest number of calls to the police emergency number 999 and the non-emergency number 101. On average Warwickshire Police received a call every two minutes.
“There’s a squirrel lying on the ground”; “My parcel hasn’t been delivered”; “My neighbour’s washing machine is too loud”, and “My finger is stuck in a bottle” – are just four of the latest quandaries that have prompted people to call 101.
Most of the calls received are valid reports such as minor traffic collisions, stolen vehicles, or damaged property.
But as well as genuine calls, the force has seen an increase in misdirected calls about birds and animals, parcel delivery complaints, salary payment delays and noisy neighbours.
Times to call 101 include reporting a stolen vehicle, damaged property, or suspected drug dealing.
But many also believe police can intervene for issues of noise nuisances, such as a dog barking, or for graffiti removal from a public area – but such matters are dealt with by councils.
Ch Supt Steve Cullen, said: “The 101 number provides a vital service for people to contact us for non-emergency matters – but using it inappropriately detracts from all the cases where people genuinely need our help.”
“Every call takes time to answer and assess properly for our response. For every misdirected call we receive, people who do require a police response may have to wait longer to have their call answered at the busiest times.”
Many queries can be resolved with a simple internet search – www.askthe.police.uk – or a call to directory enquiries.