Friday, December 3, 2010

Dial 999 for ritual humiliation

One of my pet hates cropped up again today, with the police making a song and dance about a woman who called 999 to report a stolen snowman. Given the number of campaigns there have been over the years relating to the misuse of the emergency number, including TV adverts that feature recordings of actual 'stupid' calls, I'd suggest the main lesson we can draw from the persistence of the problem is that humiliating people doesn't actually work as a deterrent. Indeed, there's a danger it might deter the wrong people from calling - faced with a potentially genuine emergency, the more cautious among us might hold off for too long.

Instead of endlessly running campaigns that I strongly suspect serve the sole purpose of allowing everyone to have a self-indulgent "tut" at the irresponsibility of others, it would be a far better idea to give much wider publicity to the numbers that can be used for non-emergencies.

No comments:

Post a Comment