Beds Police are warn mobile phone users not to phone 999 to charge their mobiles.
It is known that a rumour or urban myth suggesting that calling 999 and disconnecting immediately will boost the battery life of a phone has been circulating for some time throughout the country.
Over the past six months the Force Control Room (FCR) has received numerous calls from the public who believe the myth and are incorrectly trying to get more power out of their mobile device.
Insp Claire Ackerman said: “This myth has been circulating for some time now and we are not the only force to have suffered from these false calls.
“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.”
She added: “I would warn anyone making hoax or calls of this nature that silent or aborted 999 calls are always investigated to ensure the caller is safe and to protect the public.
“If the 999 system is misused or a call is found to be a hoax then this could constitute a criminal offence.
“All of the calls that come into the FCR are recorded and can be used as evidence in court. The police also have the power to disconnect mobiles from which hoax calls are made and we will actively arrest hoax callers and bring them to justice.”
Beds Police wants people to use their phones responsibly and to remember that the 999 emergency number should only be used in an actual emergency where police, fire or ambulance attendance is required immediately. For all non-emergency policing matters callers should dial 101.