Haldimand OPP is reminding the public that non-emergency calls and inquiries should not be placed by calling 9-1-1 and that the use of 9-1-1 should be restricted for emergency calls only.

9-1-1 is for police, fire or medical emergencies only. When someone’s life or safety is in immediate danger or when a crime is in progress.

Every day, police services receive 9-1-1 calls for non-emergency situations and also accidental 9-1-1 calls or “pocket dials” from cell phones. If you call 9-1-1 for a non-emergency, you may be taking an officer away from a real emergency.

For non-emergency calls, citizens are asked to call the 24 hour OPP toll free number at 1-888-310-1122.

Do not report emergencies on-line, please call 9-1-1.

The OPP has launched the #KnowWhenToCall campaign (www.opp.ca/911) to educate the public on unintentional 9-1-1 calls. They continue to urge the public not to call 9-1-1 unless it is an emergency, and not to let children play with mobile phones or tablets.

If you dialed 9-1-1 by mistake or “pocket dialed” 9-1-1, OPP ask that you don’t hang up. Stay on the line to let the emergency operator know you’re okay. OPP will need to confirm with you that there is no real emergency.

To avoid accidental or pocket dials, lock the keypad on all your electronic devices before storing them and don’t let children play with cell phones.

Since January, Haldimand County OPP has responded to nearly 475 accidental 9-1-1 calls and to 170 false residential and business alarms. Responding to these calls puts a strain on resources that could have been better utilized on other calls for service.

OPP is also reminding the public that misuse and abuse of 9-1-1 is a public mischief Offence under the Criminal Code of Canada.