‘My banana’s turned black’: Nottinghamshire’s worst 999 call timewasters


A caller left confused after a banana turned black and a drunk locked out of their own house are among a list of the worst time-wasting 999 calls to Notts Police.

Other pointless reports were from people asking about broken taps or saying they had been refused entry to a nightclub by door staff.

Figures released by Notts Police show the force gets up to six hoax or non-urgent 999 calls per day and it has received 1,978 inappropriate calls between April 2015 to March this year.

Officers released a list of the worst examples to try to get people to think more carefully before dialling 999 as the number is only meant to be used in emergencies.

Police class emergencies as incidents where a crime is in progress and or when someone needs immediate urgent assistance.

The most unnecessary calls made since January 2016 are;

  • “There is a learner driver that keeps on driving around the block. I’m suspicious because they are going very slowly and have twice gone up and down my street”
  • “I’ve cooked a banana and it’s turned black. What do I do?”
  • “I’ve just opened the front door and the alarm is now going off and I don’t know the code.”
  • “I’m watching TV with my two grandchildren, whilst my wife was watching TV in the kitchen. Suddenly she could see my daughter on the settee appearing on the TV. What’s going on?”
  • “I’m locked outside after a night out and can’t get in. I’m cold, but I can’t break into my house because I’m drunk.”
  • “I need to renew my driving licence.”
  • “My tap has broken and there is water going everywhere.”
  • “I’ve ordered a taxi from Gamston to West Bridgford, but the driver didn’t know where he was going.”
  • I’ve been given a parking ticket in Hyson Green.”
  • “I’ve been refused entry by the bouncers to the nightclub, but I’m not drunk.”

Superintendent Paul Burrows said: “The majority of calls we receive are for genuine emergencies and are hugely important, however sometimes through the 999 system, calls are neither an emergency nor a police matter.

“Avoiding such call allows us to be available when the public really do need us.”

An awareness campaign has been running on the Nottinghamshire Police Facebook page since May asking the public to make a decision in various situations from real life calls to the call centre at Force HQ in Arnold.

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