Herts police appeal after woman calls 999 to report 'bald eagles' flying over her house
A woman who dialled 999 to report two large birds - which she believed to be bald eagles - flying over her house was just one of several inappropriate 'emergency' calls Hertfordshire police received on Saturday (July 7).
Another ridiculous report to the force’s control room that day came from a person complaining they were hot, while someone else wanted police to sort out a disagreement with a taxi driver who wanted the fare paid in advance.
Herts Constabulary received 757 emergency 999 calls on Saturday – much more than the normal amount. The force puts this down to a combination of the heatwave and celebrations following England’s World Cup quarter-final win over Sweden getting out of hand.
This evening (Wed), when England meet Croatia in the semi-final, police are expecting another influx of emergency calls. They are urging people to call 999 only if:
▀ someone is injured, threatened or in danger;
▀ there is a risk of serious damage to property;
▀ there is a serious incident which needs immediate police attendance; or
▀ a crime is in progress or a suspect is nearby.
Supt Mick Trotman, the force’s lead on public contact, said of Saturday’s calls: “Disappointingly, a number of callers were using the 999 number irresponsibly or inappropriately, which put additional pressure on our hard-working call handlers during an extremely busy period.
“This is not only incredibly frustrating for staff in the FCR [force control room], who are working really hard, but, more importantly, it could delay us in getting help to those who are in desperate need, often facing life or death situations.
“If there is no immediate threat to a person’s life or property, you can contact the police by instead calling 101. When there is no immediate threat to life or property please wherever possible use our online reporting facility at www.herts.police.uk/contact_us/contacting_us.aspx or call the non-emergency number 101.”
Supt Richard Liversidge had some advice for football fans to enjoy tonight’s big match safely.
“So far, the majority of Hertfordshire’s residents have been enjoying our World Cup success and the unusual summer heatwave in a responsible and safe way, and I hope this continues,” he said.
“We of course want people to support England and have a good time while doing so and are sharing some advice to help ensure that everyone enjoys tonight.
“If you’re drinking alcohol, make sure you don’t drink too much, plan your way home ahead of going out and don’t drink and drive.
“The combination of alcohol and the heatwave means that people can become dehydrated much more quickly than usual, so please keep yourself topped up with non-alcoholic drinks. Also, remember that if you’ve been drinking the night before, you might still be over the legal drink-drive limit on Thursday morning.
“As part of our efforts to ensure everyone has a safe and trouble-free World Cup, you can expect to see increased police presence in town centres across the county during England matches.”