Teens who ‘ran out of money’ arrested in Manchester after calling 999 to ask for a taxi
GMP says that people ringing 999 for inappropriate reasons are "potentially putting lives at risk".
Two teenage girls were arrested in Manchester city centre over the weekend after calling 999 to ask for a lift home when they’d “ran out of money”.
While contacting emergency services in cases that are not considered emergencies is never the right thing to do, this is not actually what the pair were arrested for, however, as Greater Manchester Police (GMP) revealed that the two females, aged 16 and 17, were wanted in connection with a previous criminal damage offence.
GMP explained that, at around 2:30am this past Saturday (27 May), emergency services received said 999 call, and officers responded to the call shortly after.
Officers said they were “concerned for the welfare of the pair” in Manchester city centre.
When police arrived on the scene, they subsequently arrested the two females on suspicion of criminal damage in relation to an incident at Manchester Piccadilly station back in February.
The 16-year-old has been charged with criminal damage, while the 17-year-old has been released under investigation, GMP confirmed.
“GMP receives around 5,000 calls a day,” explained Chief Inspector Matthew Jackson, who is the Head of Dispatch at GMP’s Force Contact, Crime, and Operations branch.
“2,000 of which are 999 calls with the vast majority from people in a genuine emergency.
“However, people ringing 999 for inappropriate reasons are potentially putting lives at risk by taking call handlers’ time away from genuine emergency calls, keeping people in danger waiting for longer and putting lives at risk.”
CI Jackson emphasised that the 999 system is “for emergencies only”.
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He urged the public to make use of the alternative contact channels GMP has available instead – which include reporting online or via the force’s dedicated LiveChat, or by calling either 101 or the independent charity, Crimestoppers, which even lets people report information anonymously.
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