Think before you dial: Thames Valley Police release new video to demonstrate the impact of inappropriate 999 calls

As Thames Valley Police reveals it deals with around 65,000 inappropriate calls per year, the force has released a new video urging people to think before they dial.

The 65,000 inappropriate calls equate to around 80% of all calls received by the force to a 999 number.

Library image of a Thames Valley Police call centre

Library image of a Thames Valley Police call centre

These calls range from crimes that have taken place earlier in the day to issues that are handled by other agencies or callers who have grown tired of waiting on 101.

Last summer, Thames Valley Police launched its new website which now allows all crimes and road traffic collisions to be reported online.

It also includes a contact us form for general queries and requests for advice, as well as forms to update an existing crime report or request contact from an officer when they are next on duty.

Gavin MacMillan, senior delivery manager for the contact centres said: “We are an emergency service and will always prioritise answering 999 calls.

“999 is a quick way to get through to the police in an emergency, not a quick way to get through to us about anything.

"To a minority of people calling us it is viewed as being a more convenient option, a way of jumping the queue.

“The video we have created illustrates a very real issue, anyone using 999 inappropriately is delaying us in answering a genuine emergency call.

“I urge people to think before you dial.

"If it is a situation where anyone is in harm’s way or a crime in progress then it is absolutely the right thing to call 999.

“If it is not an emergency but it is a matter for police then please go online or call 101.”