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Highland Life / News / Northern Constabulary News / Police and Fire Service Encourage Appropriate Use of 999 Ahead of Bonfire Night

Police and Fire Service Encourage Appropriate Use of 999 Ahead of Bonfire Night

Issued: 2 Nov 2010

As members of the public get ready for Bonfire Night in the HIghlands and Islands this Friday, Police and Fire Service are encouraging members of the public to think before dialling '999'.
At this time of year on the lead up to, during and after Bonfire Night emergency services face an increased number of non-emergency calls through the '999' service which can cause a strain on resources and mean that it can take longer to respond to incidents where immediate assistance is required.
During this time there is increased activity involving bonfires and fireworks and the public are urged to consider whether an incident they are involved in or have witnessed is an emergency.
Head of Corporate Development, Superintendent Philip Macrae issued the following advice: "During a recent audit of call handling earlier this year it was found that only 25% of '999' calls received by the force required an emergency response.
"There may be a number of reasons for this including those within our communities witnessing an incident and not having a local number at hand to call.
"Members of the public can take a small measure to prevent this such as making a note of the local police station number and keeping this to hand in their homes or on their mobile phones.
"We urge the public to consider this ahead of requiring our services, however should they feel that they have witnessed or been involved in an emergency they should use the 999 service."
Area Manager Scott Hay, Head of Community Risk Management at Highlands & Islands Fire and Rescue Service, furthered: “We want everyone to be able to enjoy the celebrations on the run up to 5th November, but most importantly to take care and stay safe. We would encourage people to reduce the number of emergency calls to our service by attending one of the locally organised firework displays, which are well planned and much safer."
Local police station numbers and opening times can be found on the Northern Constabulary website on www.northern.police.uk and local fire station numbers at www.hifrs.org

© 2010 Highland Public Services Partnership.
Project part-financed by the European Union (European Regional Development Fund) within the INTERREG IIIB Northern Periphery Programme