WEST MIDLANDS Police is asking people to use the 999 service responsibly during the current heightened security state and only dial it for real emergencies.
Last night the national security state was raised to critical, this means that not only does an attack remain highly likely but a further attack may be imminent.
As a result emergency resources will be stretched and members of the public are reminded to only dial 999 if there is a threat to life or a genuine crime in progress and police attendance is immediately required.
Examples of genuine emergencies include where there is a threat to life, where there is on-going violence or if offenders are still at or near to the scene or if there has been an injury road traffic collision.
Any suspicious activity should still immediately be reported to 999 or the via the National Anti-Terrorist Hotline on 0800 789 321.
Non-emergency calls and enquiries should be directed to the 101 non-emergency number. This should be used to report a crime or anti-social behaviour which does not need an emergency response. For example, it could be used to report a crime that has already happened, seek crime prevention advice or make police aware of local policing issues.
Every year West Midlands Police receives more than two million telephone calls, including nearly 700,000 emergency calls, many of which are not genuine emergencies.
Chief Superintendent Sally Bourner, Head of Force contact said: “We are asking the public to just think before calling the police at this critical time. At the moment our officers and staff are juggling a huge number of demands and we ask people to be patient and bear with us. Of course any suspicious behaviour or emergency should still be reported on 999 but we have limited resources and still get time wasting calls.
“Recent examples of misusing the 999 system include calls about a shop not offering a refund, a picnic taking place in a park and spilled paint.
“We are averaging between 4-5,000 calls a day in total and we need to assess each and every one so please think before dialling.”