What is Classed as Wasting Police Time

What is Classed as Wasting Police Time?

‘Wasting police time’ is a common expression, but what exactly does it mean? The police are frequently stretched in many areas, so each crime and incident they attend should be genuine, to avoid wasting valuable resources.

Misuse of police resources can prevent officers from addressing real emergencies and keeping communities safe.

Let’s explore some ways people waste police time and resources.

What counts as wasting police time?

Making false reports

A very common way to waste police time is by making a false report. This could include claims about a crime. For example, reporting a theft or crime that hasn’t actually happened.

When police investigate one of these claims, they are wasting time that they could be using on real and genuine incidents. This is a very serious offence and can get you into serious trouble with the authorities.

Prank or hoax calls

Young people especially can play pranks and hoax calls on the police by calling emergency services as a joke. These can range from not saying anything at all to reporting serious threats, such as fake bomb scares or false reports of violence.

Calls like these can cause unnecessary panic and lead to huge, expensive police responses.

Giving misleading information

If you give false or misleading information to the police during an investigation, it can also be seen as time-wasting. For example, giving an incorrect description of a suspect or inaccurate details about a crime scene can seriously hinder police work.

Unnecessary complaints

The appeal of complaining can sometimes prompt people to report minor incidents to the police. Issues that aren’t real problems, such as noise complaints or small disputes that don’t need police involvement, can also waste police time.

This is an easy way to distract the police from their urgent work and could lead to fines or even prosecution.

The impact on police work

An entire community is affected when police time is wasted. Distracting the police with false reports and unnecessary complaints means that they can’t respond to real emergencies.

Local residents will then be impacted as their lives and property could be put at risk. It could also result in a financial strain on authorities, leading to budget cuts that will affect the safety of everyone. Crucially, it can also decrease public trust in the police as less funding will lead to fewer crimes being solved.

How to avoid wasting police time

It’s important to think carefully before contacting the Bermuda Police Service. While they encourage residents to reach out when needed, it’s essential to ensure the concern is genuine.

Here are some tips to avoid wasting police time:

  • Be honest and only report actual crimes.
  • Use 911 for true emergencies and non-emergency numbers for less urgent issues.
  • Provide accurate information.
  • Understand what counts as an emergency so police resources are used effectively.

Reporting crimes confidentially

At Crime Stoppers Bermuda, we are dedicated to supporting our police force and encouraging responsible use of their services. We do this by providing a confidential service for local residents to use if they witness or have any information about a crime.

Our experienced and professional team treats your information with discretion. You can call us at 800-8477 to speak with a highly trained staff member or report a crime online.

Crime Stoppers Bermuda 800-8477

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About Crime Stoppers Bermuda

We are a registered Bermuda charity (No. 410) helping law enforcement to locate criminals and help solve crimes. We have an anonymous 24-hour Hotline phone number, 800-8477 (TIPS), that people can call to pass on information about crime; alternatively people can send us information anonymously via our Anonymous Online Form. You don’t have to give your name or any of your personal details. We do not trace calls or track IP addresses.

Crime Stoppers Bermuda, P.O. Box HM 2711, Hamilton HM LX.

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