Hello, 999? I’ve invented an x-ray machine

Three in four calls to the emergency services were not urgent
Three in four calls to the emergency services were not urgent
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Just one in four 999 calls received by police last year was classed as an emergency.

Data yesterday released under Freedom of Information Act (FoI) requests also revealed that this fell to fewer than one in five in the UK’s biggest force, the Metropolitan Police, where less than 400,000 of the two million 999 calls needed emergency responses.

The figures came as the Met disclosed some of the spurious 999 calls it received last Christmas Day.

One was from a woman claiming someone was in her house – and she knew this because she had invented an x-ray machine.

One man claimed to be David Cameron calling from 10 Downing Street, while another demanded to speak to the head of the Egyptian order.

Another simply said, “I love you with all my heart darling”, before hanging up.

In 2010/11, an average of one 999 call in four needed an emergency response, figures from 31 of the 43 police forces in England and Wales showed.

Overall, some 7.5 million 999 calls were received by the forces which responded to the FoI request, but fewer than 1.9 million of these were emergencies.

In Suffolk, just 3,227 of the 30,291 999 calls were emergencies – just one in 10 – the figures showed.

But in Derbyshire, almost two-thirds of 999 calls were emergencies.

Calls to the Met on Christmas Day last year included 11 reports of sexual offences, 513 classed as involving violence against a person, and 123 reporting domestic incidents, ranging from arguments between partners and families to more serious physical violence.