Pocket-dialers create havoc for Victoria police operators

Inadvertent 911 calls still have to be responded to by police

When 911 operator Tanya Patterson received a call from a mother in distress, the woman was convinced her daughter was in imminent danger.

The mother had received a phone call from her daughter and described hearing screams and loud noises on the other end of the line.

“We did a check welfare call to the young woman’s cellphone and learned that she had inadvertently purse-dialed her mother while she was at a horror movie,” said Patterson, VicPD communications centre training co-ordinator.

Similar stories are becoming more common. People who accidentally make emergency calls with their cellphones heavily taxing police resources.

Since Jan. 1, police department communications centre staff have received 828 calls with no one on the other end of the line requiring assistance.

But police protocol requires them to follow up on each call, said Const. Mike Russell.

dpalmer@vicnews.com

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