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Woman calls 911 to ask for bank phone number, Peel police say it’s part of a bigger problem

A 911 call of a woman asking for a bank phone number is the latest instance of emergency services being misused in Peel Region, police say.

Peel police released audio of the call Monday. In it, the caller can be heard asking the dispatcher for the phone number of the bank at Westood Mall in Mississauga.

“This is not an appropriate use for 911,” the dispatcher is heard saying to the caller, who apologized. “There’s lots of people who have real emergencies, but now I’m speaking to you.”

Callers misusing the emergency service line in Peel Region has become a problem over the last year. In 2023, police said, dispatchers received 71,000 calls a month – close to half of which were inappropriate or hang ups.

Last week, Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown introduced a motion that would fine individuals who misuse the critical service.

“We’ve never seen this level of misused calls,” he said at the time. “It’s going up each year and that’s putting an enormous pressure on 911, to the point that we have legitimate emergencies being put on hold because we have negligent calls.”

According to Brown’s motion, Peel police receive roughly 1,800 emergency calls daily; approximately 720 of those, or more than 40 per cent, are “deemed non-legitimate.”

Other examples of inappropriate 911 calls received in Peel Region in recent months include an incorrect order at Tim Hortons, a TV not working, and a complaint about people playing cricket on a footpath.

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