Receives 200 accidental emergency calls daily

Police call-handlers

West Yorkshire Police call-handlers are dealing with about 200 ‘accidental’ 999 calls every day

About 200 accidental 999 calls are being received by a police force every day.

West Yorkshire Police said pocket dialling and children playing on their parents’ phones accounted for a number of the calls.

Staff said every emergency call needed investigation, sometimes requiring a personal visit, and misdials were adding to workloads.

The force said it receives about 1,300 emergency calls a day.

Senior contact manager with the force, Tom Donahue, said the growing number of misdials came as they saw a 6% year-on-year rise in emergency calls.

“It can be very easy to pocket dial,” Mr Donahue said.

“The problem for us is that every one of these calls needs to be investigated to make absolutely sure no-one is in danger.”

He said people were “horrified and extremely apologetic” once they were aware of the error.

Mr Donahue said it was also important people did not hang up if they realised they had dialled by mistake.

“A lot of the time parents of children who have dialled 999 accidentally will panic and hit ‘end call’.

“We then have to ring them back.

“We would rather they stayed on the line and quickly told us everything was OK.”

When a caller dials 999, they are put through to the BT emergency operator who then directs calls to the most appropriate service.

BT does not have the resources to investigate all suspected misdials so they are put through to the police, Mr Donahue said.

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