Bedfordshire Police have issued a statement warning mobile phone users that calling 999 won’t charge their mobile phones.
Operators answering emergency calls in the force control room have also received calls from people who believed that ringing 999 (the UK emergency services number) and then hanging up would boost their battery life. This ‘urban myth’ has been circulating for several months and led to police in Derbyshire issuing a similar plea last year.
Inspector Claire Ackerman said “Calling 999 for anything other than an emergency or a non-police matter puts additional pressure on resources, ties up an operator and wastes valuable time that could be better spent helping genuine callers possibly in a life-threatening situation. The only way to boost a mobile phone battery is to use a charger. If the 999 system is misused or a call is found to be a hoax then this could constitute a criminal offence.”
The rumour has apparently been traced back to comments on a BlackBerry user forum.