1-in-5 911 calls bogus

Officials are reminding people to call 911 only in an emergency.

One in five 911 calls for police are not legitimate emergencies, according to estimates by E-Comm, B.C.’s largest emergency communications centre.

To help keep 911 lines free for emergencies that require immediate action, E-Comm is reminding the public when it's more appropriate to call the non-emergency line.

“911 is for those who need assistance right away – their health, safety or property is in immediate jeopardy, or a crime is in progress,” said spokesperson Jasmine Bradley.

Some recent examples of police matters that should have been reported on the non-emergency line, not 911:

• Vehicle break-in that happened three days earlier 
• Motor vehicle crash with no injuries and the vehicle was driveable
• A break-in that occurred 90 minutes earlier, with no suspect on scene and no one at risk

In 2016, E-Comm managed more than 387,000 emergency calls for 17 police agencies in Metro Vancouver. It’s estimated approximately 77,000 were non-emergencies.

“Before we ask a 911 caller to hang up and call their local non-emergency number, we have to take time to assess whether the situation is an actual emergency,” said call-taker Jefferey Ching. 

“Generally speaking, if there is no immediate danger, there is a significant time delay and no suspect on scene, a 911 call-taker will refer the caller to the local non-emergency line so a report can be taken without tying up 911.”

Non-emergency numbers within E-Comm’s service area are available online.

Some hilarious 911 calls can be found here.

More BC News

Vancouver Webcam
Webcam provided by webcams.travel
Recent Trending
Okanagan Oldies
Castanet Proud Member of RTNDA Canada