David Hamilton, not the small DJ chap but Tayside Police Federation secretary. Recommends a 50p call charge on all 999 calls to cut down on "the sheer volume of emergency calls being made and his idea would make sure only those with “real emergencies” dialled 999."
Would this reduce the number of hoax or stupid calls. Would Tayside police get a share of the premium rate number revenue?
It's the-thin-edge-of-the-wedge ... next thing will be "our operators are busy" and some fancy Z-Cars music will get played, then after a minute or two of holding on, you'll find that you've racked up a phone bill for X amounts of pounds.
I think you are probably right. But I hope they can play a different tune than Everton's signature tune. Most phone music seems like a funeral dirge to me. You can hear the meter ticking up the pennies as you wait and the music goes around in a continuous loop.
For information, in case anyone hasn't heard about it, the NHS Direct number 0845 4647 is being replaced by 111 for non emergency/advice calls. Its not available in all areas yet but all the information is here
Abuse of the 999 service is widespread and huge - there can be no doubt that something needs to be done, and the suggestion made by David Hamilton has some merit as a deterrent as far as calls from landlines are concerned.
The problem might be that large numbers of hoax calls are made from payphones and mobiles, and those calls are free.