Scotland

Police Scotland appeal over emergency calls

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Media captionEmergency services prepare for busiest weekend of the year

Police Scotland has appealed to the public not to misuse the 999 and 101 systems over the holiday period.

The three busiest days of the past year for police call handlers were during the festive season.

The peak day - with 9,400 calls - was 1 January 2016. A total of 9,100 calls were taken on 31 December, with 8,450 calls on 23 December.

Ch Supt Roddy Newbigging warned that those who make unnecessary calls "can cost lives".

He said: "The vast majority of people who contact us, use the 101 and 999 systems appropriately, however there are a very small number of people who do not and this abuse can cost lives.

"It diverts our call handlers from helping the public when they need us.

"Our message is simple - if it's an emergency call 999, for non-emergency situations dial 101."

Justice Secretary Michael Matheson, visiting the Police Scotland Govan service centre, added: "While people across Scotland finish work and prepare for some time with loved ones, the festive period often brings more demands on police call handlers and I am grateful for their continued efforts to keep our communities safe."

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