Remember that time earlier this year when someone called 911 because their McDonald’s was cold? Well, that wasn’t the only ridiculous call Hamilton Police communications operators received in 2018.
In fact, almost one-third of Hamilton’s 911 calls last year were non-emergencies. Of the 195,000 calls received, nearly 65,000 were instances of the service being misused.
Hamilton Police Services posted an amusing video on their Twitter to shed light on this serious issue.
HPS wants to remind #HamOnt that 911 is for emergencies. In 2018, 195,000 911 calls – nearly 1/3 weren't emergencies. Here are some of our top non-emergency calls. Remember, for non-urgent cases, call 905-546-4925 or visit our website at https://t.co/8Xe8HLggS4. pic.twitter.com/Wa7MVzu22s
— Hamilton Police (@HamiltonPolice) December 28, 2018
Here are the most bizarre reasons people called 911 this year:
- Their cat was sick
- Their Facebook account was hacked
- They saw a discrepancy in retail pricing and want to know who to call to sort it out
- Their light bulb was making noise
- They were humped by a dog at the park
- They wanted to know if the Beer Store was open
- They wanted to know when Canada Day fireworks take place
- They needed to know the time after Daylight Savings
- Their McDonald’s food was cold
- There was a cat in front of the house
Hamilton Police Services remind residents that non-emergency 911 calls use valuable resources and could delay response to individuals in an actual emergency. For non-emergencies, such as reporting a noise complaint, call (905) 546-4925 instead or visit their website at hamiltonpolice.on.ca
There were so many abandoned calls this year that “Hamilton Police have had to assign a full-time staff member to respond to all abandoned calls”. The reason being that operators still have to check that there is no actual emergency.
If you end up being one of the thousands of pocket-dialers this year who don’t require 911 services, wait for the 911 operator to call you back and just quickly explain your mistake. That way 911 knows to close the case and move on.
For a list of crime prevention tips, visit this page on the Hamilton Police’s website.
Here’s to a 2019 with less ridiculous “emergency” calls!