GUELPH – Since the beginning of this year, Guelph Police have received 4,329 9-1-1 emergency calls.
Guelph Constable Michael Gatto said that works out to over 700 per month or 14.2% of the total calls for service that the police have received this year. Further, each 9-1-1 call has to be considered a serious situation until police determine otherwise.
He said the problem is that it takes up a lot of time by police personnel and also occupies the 9-1-1 lines needlessly. The biggest fear is that someone really needs help and that assistance is delayed due to police investigating a false 9-1-1 call.
Gatto said a majority of the false calls are coming by the pocket dial from cell phones.
The two main ways to prevent the pocket dial are:
– Set the phone to the off or locked position. If a cell phone is turned on or unlocked, it can be pocket-dialed easily. Set the phone to a setting so it has to be turned on or unlocked to make a call to avoid pocket dialing; or
– Get a cover or a hard cover container for the cell phone. Putting an open-face cell phone in a case may keep it from bumping and doing the pocket dial dance.