Listen to Durham dad saying sorry to cops after his teen son’s 999 call over Xbox ban

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A TEENAGER dialled 999 after his parents banned him from playing on his Xbox.

The incident is just one of thousands of needless calls made to police, new figures show.

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The thoughtless 13-year-old rang the emergency number after being told by his mum and dad it was past his bedtime.

In a clip released by police today, his dad apologises over the “emergency” call.

It was among a flood of hoax, silent or frivolous calls made to Durham Constabulary last year.

Other incidents included a drunken man who repeatedly asked to be put through to a particular officer and another caller reporting concern for two ducks sitting by the side of a boating lake.

Today, police chiefs issued an urgent warning about the dangers of unnecessary calls — especially during busy periods.

Chief Inspector Stu Exley, head of communications for the force, said staff are facing an increasing number of time-wasting calls from people who shout abuse and then hang up, hoax bomb callers and teenagers “dared” by their friends to ring 999.

He said the problem appears to worsen during the school holidays.

“The 999 system is for use in an emergency, for example when life is at risk or a crime is in progress,” he said. “But it seems a lot of people cannot get this into their heads, and use the number almost as a free phone book.”

From last April to March this year, there were an estimated 59,486 incidents recorded through the 999 service.

Of these, 2,143 were classed as “abandoned” or “silent”, with a further 4,556 dismissed as hoaxes.

Fewer than half the incidents recorded – 27,749 – were logged as “immediate” or “priority”.

Chief Insp Exley said emergency calls are meant to be answered by a handler in 10 seconds or less.

But the most recent figures show 94 per cent are currently answered within this time.

“If people want to call the police on a non-urgent matter they should ring 0345 6060 365,” he added.

“We aim to answer emergency calls within 10 seconds and if our handlers are tied up dealing with hoax or frivolous calls there is a risk someone reporting a genuine emergency may not be able to get through.”

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