Nottingham

Chip-stealing seagull and 'big fox' calls prompt 999 warning

Seagull Image copyright Reuters
Image caption One caller dialled 999 after they were targeted by a chip-thieving seagull

Calls about a "big fox", a disobedient cat and a chip-stealing seagull have prompted police to warn people not to misuse the 999 service.

Nottinghamshire Police said unnecessary calls were delaying call handlers from dealing with real emergencies.

Other frivolous inquiries include someone wanting to know the time of the next train and another struggling to get a sofa out of their house.

Officers said they were disappointed previous warnings had been ignored.

The force regularly shares details on social media of the silliest 999 calls it has received to try to deter timewasters.

Despite this one person called to report a big fox in their garden and another rang to complain a seagull had stolen their chips.

Image copyright Nottinghamshire Police
Image caption The force regularly shares details of silly 999 calls it has received

Other calls over the past few weeks have involved a cat refusing to return from a neighbour's garden and a shopper who was denied a refund after buying the wrong size shampoo.

Another caller wanted contact details for police in Cyprus after misplacing their provisional driving licence on holiday, while someone else called wanting to know the time of the next train.

Supt Paul Burrows said: "Despite the work we regularly do in the media, online and over the phone to explain to people how to use 999 responsibly, we do still receive a high number of misplaced calls to our emergency number.

"Every misplaced call our emergency call handlers receive has the potential to delay us from responding to genuine emergencies."

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