12/29/2008

Time to prosecute the 999 time wasters

The number of idiots phoning 999 for totally unimportant rubbish seems to be hitting an all time high, and the news today that former topless model Linda Lusardi phoned 999 to ask if she can have permission to use the hard shoulder because she was going to be late for her pantomime only highlights this further.

In recent days the emergency services have revealed that a member of the clergy phoned 999 to report that he could not get through to Strictly Come Dancing in order to vote for Tom Chambers, someone else phoned 999 to ask how to get to Homebase whilst nearer to home here in Norfolk we had a Tory County Councillor a few years back who phoned 999 when she was stuck in a queue leaving an event because "ordinary people were being let out before her".

I don't think it takes a great deal of common sense to understand what an emergency is. Put simply, if it involves a criminal offence, fear of a criminal offence, something the fire brigade can deal with or a serious medical emergency which means the person hurt cannot safely make there was to a hospital, then that constitutes an 999 emergency. People phoning for other reasons ought to be fined and publicly named and shamed.

4 comments:

Fidothedog said...

Just done a bit on this one and gave you a hat tip.

Malcolm Redfellow said...

Would the saga of Lynn Featherstone's amazing non-exploding central-heating boiler count as a genuine 999 emergency?

Oh, c'mon, Nich: do tell!

Norfolk Blogger said...

Malcolm, I am no expert in such matters, but I note that the London Fire Brigade said at the time that she had done the right thing, and they are experts, so I guess she would not be a time waster.

Malcolm Redfellow said...

Err, not exactly, Lord Copper.

The precise wording of the LFB response (at least the one I find) was: "We attend every call in good faith. If someone feels they are in a dangerous situation, they should call the emergency services. Better safe than sorry."

Hardly a ringing endorsement, and not quite the spin put on it by many apologists for Ms Featherstone.

By the way, try and chase up the various bloggings Ms Featherstone did on the topic. I think you will find they have not so much been trimmed as given a serious Brazilian.

Having said that, anyone who gets up Brian Coleman's nose cannot be entirely a lost cause.

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