Peel Regional Police say about 40 per cent of calls to the region’s 911 service are for non-emergency situations, which can leave some people seeking emergency assistance waiting on the phone.
Police spokesperson Tyler Bell-Morena says the number of calls to the region’s emergency call centre rose to 644,000 in 2022 — a new record he expects to be broken by the end of 2023.
Bell-Morena says nearly 40 per cent of the calls do not involve a situation where a life is in danger or a crime is being witnessed, which he says are the only acceptable reasons to call 911.
The region’s 911 service handles police, fire and ambulance response in Brampton and Mississauga, Ont.
In one case last month, Bell-Morena says a Brampton family calling 911 to report an armed home invasion had to wait nearly four minutes to speak with an operator before abandoning the call and reaching police later.
Bell-Morena says Peel police are working to hire more 911 call operators and educate the public about non-emergency police phone lines to address this issue of public safety.
Peel police say reporting a stolen vehicle or making a noise complaint are examples of when to call the non-emergency line instead of 911.
Peel Regional Police ask people not to call 911 with complaints about restaurant orders gone wrong
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