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Time-wasting 911 calls increasing in Peel Region: report

A Peel Regional Police cruiser and officer are seen at the 12 Division station. Nick Westoll / File / Global News

The number of calls to 911 dispatchers in Peel Region grew last year along with the number of calls classified as misuse, according to new figures.

A report, which will be considered on Thursday by the Region of Peel’s emergency management program committee, said the number of 911 calls grew 11 per cent from 2020 to 2021.

That increase, the report said, is in line with annual call growth trends.

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Peel logged 614,933 calls to 911 in 2021, an increase of 46 per cent from 2017, according to the region’s figures for the past five years.

The number of calls classified as misuse grew last year by six per cent, while a total of 115,609 callers hung up without speaking after calling 911.

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“Mobile technology is a contributing factor, as it provides more opportunities for inappropriate 9-1-1 use, such as pocket dialling and short-duration calls,” the report said.

The total number of misuse calls, test calls and hang ups increased four per cent year-on-year.

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During April, Peel Regional Police ran a social media campaign reminding residents not to hang up a 911 call, even if it was made by mistake. Operators have a duty to call back to see why the call was ended, which can take resources away from other emergencies.

As call volumes continue to grow in Peel, response times were reported below target .

Operators answered 57 per cent of 911 calls within 10 seconds, below a target of 90 per cent. They answered 64 per cent within 20 seconds, also below the target of 95 per cent.

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