Hamilton

Mom calls police about daughter's friends, OPP issue reminder about proper use of 911

The non-emergency calls to 911 in Norfolk County keep flooding in and the OPP are again reminding residents dialling the number in a non-urgent situation could have serious consequences.

It can take 2 OPP officers up to 30 minutes to investigate a non-emergency call

Const. Ed Sanchuk said Norfolk County OPP have handled emergency calls about colouring books and video games in recent weeks. (Gian-Paolo Mendoza/CBC)

A dispute over a colouring book. Raccoons in the yard. A teenager hanging out with friends her mother doesn't approve of.

The non-emergency calls to 911 in Norfolk County keep flooding in and the OPP are again reminding residents dialling the number in a non-urgent situation could have serious consequences.

Const. Ed Sanchuk issued two press releases in the past week following the latest in a series of unusual 911 calls.

The first deals with a mother who apparently didn't approve of the company her 17-year-old daughter was keeping and thought police should do something about it.

The call came in around 6:45 p.m. on Jan. 3.

"The mother of the teen did not like the friends she was spending time with and contacted 911," said Sanchuk, adding the woman on the other end of the line was unhappy her daughter refused to stay home.

Two days later, dispatchers received another 911 call, this time from a home on Talbot Street South in Simcoe. But the person who dialled in quickly hung up.

Sanchuk said investigators determined that quick hang up call was the fourth time 911 was contacted by someone at that same number in a five-day period.

Officials say they spoke with the caller and learned a 24-year-old woman had purchased a new phone and "appeared to be having issues" with it.

"All of these calls are taking dispatchers away from people who legitimately need assistance or are in an emergency situation," said Sanchuk. "The concern we have now is we're taking emergency services away from people who actually need them. You're wasting taxpayer dollars and technically putting lives in jeopardy."

It takes at least two officers about 30 minutes to respond to and investigate each call, he added. That means unnecessary calls put "enormous" pressure on OPP resources.

In recent weeks 911 dispatchers in Norfolk County also received calls from a 25-year-old woman whose parents told her to stop playing video games and a 9-year-old girl whose mom told her to clean her room.

Police are not pest control

Sanchuk said police have also received calls about raccoons in people's yards and dead animals along area trails.

He noted OPP officers are not animal control and do not have the facilities or equipment to deal with those types of situations.

Anyone dealing with a non-urgent situation is advised to call the OPPs non-emergency number at 1-888-310-1122.

"We'll do the best we can to help out the community as best we can, but we're police, we investigate crimes," said Sanchuk. "We're asking people to remind their kids, and even adults, about the proper use of 911."