May 17, 2019 6:03 pm

South Georgian Bay OPP responds to 1,358 false 911 calls in 2018

More than 1,300 non-emergency calls were placed to 911 last year, South Georgian Bay OPP say.

Nick Westoll / Global News File
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South Georgian Bay OPP responded to 1,358 false 911 calls in 2018, many of which were pocket dials, police say.

According to police, pocket dials can happen when a mobile phone is carried in a purse, backpack or pocket or through smartwatches, which sync to smartphones.

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For every unintentional call, police say, officers must determine whether a real emergency exists.

If you place an unintentional call, officers encourage callers to stay on the line and let police know it was an unintentional call.

Every 911 call is taken seriously, police say, and when a 911 caller doesn’t respond, it could be a sign of trouble.

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This results in officers being dispatched to try to locate the caller and ensure there is no emergency, police say, taking up time that could be spent helping someone who really needs it as opposed to someone who called 911 unintentionally.

According to OPP, people can prevent 911 pocket dials by:

  • Locking a phone’s keypad or buying a case that covers the front screen
  • Avoiding programming a wireless device to speed dial 911
  • Ensuring the auto-call feature is turned off for smartwatches that are synced to a mobile phone

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