Emergency service 999 celebrates its 80th birthday today

What’s your emergency?

Britain’s 999 emergency service is the oldest in the world and turns 80-years-old, Friday.

The service was launched in 1937, in London and handled approximately 1,000 calls a week, today the service manages a staggering 30m per year of 560,000 every seven days.

The roll out of the service across the UK was interrupted due to World War Two and finally extended across the UK by 1948.

The non-emergency number 101 was first piloted in 2006 in Hampshire and the Isle of White, then moved to Cardiff Sheffield and Northumberland.

By 2011 and 2012 101 was finally rolled out across all police forces in the UK, Northern Ireland started in 2014.

The cost of a 101 call is a flat rate of 15 pence per irrespective of how long you are on the call, monies collected pays for the service.

It is estimated that more than 3m non-emergency 999 calls are made per year wasting resources, here are a few of the most ridiculous, time wasting 999 calls.

  • In 2014 when Manchester United had their shock defeat during the league cup against Sunderland who won by penalties, 2-1, a drunken fan called 999 “reporting a crime” and demanded to speak with Sir Alex Ferguson.
  • A woman dialled 999 to report that her snowman had been stolen and that her neighbour had given her a “dirty look.”
  • A caller called the police to report that his takeaway that cost £30 was delivered to a neighbour instead of his home.
  • A man called 999 after meeting a prostitute and allegedly claimed that she had breached the, Sale of Goods Acts, to complain about her looks.
  • Another person asked to speak with Mountain Rescue, when asked where he is, he said I am on the top bunk and cannot get down.

 

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