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Cops divert 200,000 non urgent' calls from 999 switchboard

PUBLISHED: 13:00 14 October 2009 | UPDATED: 15:03 05 October 2010

POLICE have managed to divert thousands of calls from the public away from the 999 emergency' switchboard in the first 12 months since introducing a non urgent' telephone line. The 0300' number has received a million calls since its introduction last year

By Mike Brooke

POLICE have managed to divert thousands of calls from the public away from London's '999 emergency' switchboard in the first 12 months since introducing a 'non urgent' telephone line.

The '0300' number set up by the Met Police has received one million calls since its introduction on October 14 last year, figures released today on its first anniversary reveal.

The 0300-123 1212 number accounts for four-out-of-10 of all the Met's calls from the public, with '999' calls falling by around 200,000 compared with the previous year.

It gets around 3,500 calls a day round-the-clock, freeing resources more effectively to cope with genuine emergencies, Scotland Yard points out.

This is in addition to contacting police stations and neighbourhood officers on local phone numbers available on the Met's website.

But the Met urges callers to dial 999 in a genuine emergency, when someone injured, being threatened or in danger.

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