Police time wasted by drunken revellers

David Threlfall as Frank Gallagher.
David Threlfall as Frank Gallagher.
Have your say

Drunken revellers wasted police time by calling 999 to request lifts home and make false reports of crime on New Year’s Eve.

One hoaxer asked for a lift from Crookesmoor in Sheffield to his home just half a mile away in Walkley and another caller at a house party claimed to be Frank Gallagher from the television series Shameless.

Police say figures show they were ‘inundated’ with nuisance calls on the busiest night of the year.

A woman described as ‘hysterical’ rang 999 after a taxi driver asked her to pay her fare upfront while another dialled from Doncaster bus station to ask for a lift to Pontefract as there were no more buses running.

And an 18-year-old falsely claimed a car had driven at then knocked him over before speeding off.

Police graded the call as of the highest priority but arrived to find the teenager unharmed.

Tracy Potter, operations manager at South Yorkshire Police, said there were 737 incidents on the night, with 219 classed as immediate and 123 as priorities for officers to attend.

She added: “Prior to midnight the number of incidents were relatively low, with there being the expected number of revellers in the town centres, but in good spirits.

“But there were 572 calls to 999 between midnight and 5am. The majority of incidents related to alcohol-fuelled incidences of fighting and domestic incidents.

“It was a busy start to the New Year, with all police personnel striving to maintain a high level of service to the public.

“What we could have done without were the nuisance and hoax calls made by people who obviously had nothing better to do on New Year’s Eve than waste police time and, potentially, prevent us from getting to a serious incident as quickly.”

Other calls included one shortly before 3am on New Year’s Day, when a man asked if police could drive his drunken girlfriend back home, and another caller who rang to say he’d lost his house keys.

Another man claimed to have been assaulted when he had actually fallen down the stairs.

The total number of calls made to South Yorkshire Police over the new year period was up by around eight per cent on 2012.

Between 6am on December 31, 2013 and 6am on January 1, 2014, there were 1,849 emergency calls made to the force compared to 1,710 over the equivalent 24-hour period the previous year.

On an average day the force would expect to receive between 1,100 and 1,200 calls.