Man calls 999 after waiting 30 minutes for pizza

·2-min read
Closeup of fresh handmade pizza in store bakery on display by window with chef employee working
A man called 999 to report he was waiting 30 minutes for pizza. (Stock picture) (Getty)

A police force has reminded people they should only phone 999 in an emergency after a man called to report he was waiting 30 minutes for pizza.

Essex Police issued the advice amid the busy Platinum Jubilee Bank Holiday weekend.

On Friday, their Force Control Room (FCR) received over 480 calls via 101, the phone number for reporting non-emergency crimes.

The force added a further 987 calls were made using 999, and they answered 93% of these in five seconds.

But it said it had received several inappropriate calls, including a customer in a pizza shop complaining he had been waiting 30 minutes for his food and another man asking what the time was.

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CHELMSFORD, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 31: A general view of the Essex Police Headquarters building on October 31, 2019 in Chelmsford, Essex, England. (Photo by John Keeble/Getty Images)
Essex Police issued the advice amid the busy Platinum Jubilee Bank Holiday weekend. (Getty)

On Thursday, Essex Police added one intoxicated man called six times to report his bank account was lower than it should be, before abusing a call handler.

Another male caller asked if he had left his bank card in a police car the previous evening.

Essex Police said you should call 999 if it is an emergency, eg a crime happening right now or life or property is at risk.

Chief Supt Stuart Hooper, Essex Police’s Head of Contact Management, said: “I’d like to thank those people who contacted us yesterday through the channel that was most appropriate for their call.

“By doing so, you are freeing up our call handlers so that they can provide an almost instant response for people who find themselves in a real emergency and need to dial 999.

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“Calling 999 must be a last resort and you should only use this service if you are reporting an emergency that requires an immediate and urgent police response.”

The force said for the second consecutive day their level of response to calls met a newly-set Home Office target for UK police forces to answer 90% of 999 calls in under 10 seconds.

They added of these 987 calls, 230 were graded as an emergency.

Consider the following before dialling 999:

  • Is this a police issue or is another service better suited?

  • Is the information already on a police website?

  • Has a crime already happened and you want to report it? – Report online

  • Do you want to share some information with us or speak to someone specific? – Call 101

  • Is it an emergency? Is a crime happening right now, or is life or property at risk? – Call 999

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