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BC  

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.



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