80th Anniversary of the 999
emergency call service
ON Friday, 30 June 2017, it was the
80th Anniversary of the 999 emergency call service and Merseyside Police marked
the occasion by highlighting how the service has developed in the intervening
years, and the various other ways in which people can now contact the emergency
The 999 service is the world's oldest emergency call telephone service and was
1st introduced in London, on 30 June 1937, following a fire the previous year in
which 5 women were killed.
The following notice in the Evening News on the day of the launch advised the
public how to use the service:- "Only dial 999... if the matter is urgent;
if, for instance, the man in the flat next to yours is murdering his wife or you
have seen a heavily masked cat burglar peering round the stack pipe of the local
bank building. If the matter is less urgent, if you have merely lost little
Towser or a lorry has come to rest in your front garden, just call up the local
Since the 1930's, technology has been revolutionised and people now live their
lives and communicate in a completely different way. With the advent of mobile
phone and internet technology, there are now more ways to get in touch than ever
for members of the public in Merseyside.
Chief Superintendent Ngaire Waine, head of the force Contact, Crime and
Resolution department, explains:- "On average we receive 2500 calls a day
to Merseyside Police and between 18:00 and 20:00 of those calls are non-urgent
calls, which don't require immediate Police attendance. In
December 2016, we introduced a new appointment system for non urgent callers to
the Police. This now means that instead of waiting for the 1st available patrol,
we will work with the caller to arrange a time that is convenient to them,
either at their home address, or their local Police Station. We hope that the
new system will make the caller's experience of Police contact more convenient
and less stressful, by providing a time and location that is convenient to them
and fits in with their work and family schedule. Members of the public can
report non urgent crimes in a number of other ways. We have the:- 101
non emergency number, a direct
email account , or alternatively there is the possibility to report online,
via the force website. A member of the Contact, Crime and Resolution department
will access the email and website crime reports and contact the caller to give
and advise and where required arrange for an appointment with an officer. We are
committed to ensuring that our communities are at the heart of everything we do
and we are consistently looking at how we can change the way we work to ensure
that we provide an efficient and effective service. Whilst we can do everything
possible to try and make our systems more effective, I would like to take this
opportunity to appeal to members of the public to help us make sure that when
they call the Police it is because they need us. There are still a lot of people
out there who call the Police in relation to incidents which do not require a
Police service. We receive calls about all sorts of issues from rat
infestations, to cats up trees and blocked drains, because people aren't sure
who they should contact. These types of calls can put extra pressure on our call
handlers and could slow down their ability to respond to a caller who is in
urgent need of a Police response. If you're not sure whether it is a Police
matter there is a nationally managed website and App via:-
which can point you in the right direction and give you advice."
People are reminded 999 should only be used when:-
► A crime is happening now.
► Someone is injured.
► You, or someone else, is in danger.
► The person who has committed the offence is still there or is nearby.
Examples of when you might call the new 101 service for:-
► "My car has been stolen from my driveway"
► "My car was vandalised last night"
► "My house was burgled whilst I was on holiday"
For more information or to report a crime online and for information about the
999 or 101 services visit:-