This time of year is one of the busiest for call handlers who answer the emergency 999 service.
The police see a rise in the number of calls, especially in the evenings so they are asking people to understand when to call 999 and when it’s #NOT999.
A genuine emergency is where life or property are in immediate danger, otherwise, if it’s a policing matter, call 101.
Last Christmas, between December 20, and January 2, Lincolnshire Police typically received 265 emergency 999 calls each day, and this was despite the county being in a tier four lockdown.
A spokesman from Lincolnshire Police said: “Hoax calls or non-emergency calls waste time.
“By example, we have received calls asking for train times, a number for a dentist, calling to report someone had no water and that someone’s boyfriend wouldn’t kiss her. None of these things are even a policing matter, let alone genuine emergencies.”
Mike Modder-Fitch, head of the Force Control Room, G4s, said: “We want everyone to enjoy themselves.
“We will be there if you need us but we’d much rather spend Christmas with nobody to speak to.
“There are many reasons why someone would need to call the 999 line, where someone is injured, where a crime is happening right there and then and someone or something is in immediate danger. If this is happening then call us on the 999 line.
“If we feel it’s not a genuine emergency, but still a policing matter, we will put you through to a colleague who can still help so that it will not tie up the 999 lines.
“When it’s a hoax call or simply not a policing matter we have to terminate the call to free the lines.
“If you’re on a night out and one of your drunk mates things it’s okay to call the 999 line, my ask is that you stop them from wasting our and their time.
“It could really make a difference to a genuine call. We can’t help with food orders, taxis or the number for dentists.”