People call 10111 to flirt with operators - police
Cape Town - Flirting with call centre agents and asking for the nearest chicken fast food outlet are among the "nuisance calls" made to the Western Cape's 10111 number, provincial police said on Wednesday.
Sixty-six percent of calls made between April 2011 and January this year were for non-emergencies, such as enquiries, Maitland call centre commander Lieutenant Colonel Riaan Pool told reporters in Cape Town.
He said people would phone to ask about the progress of an investigation or, even worse, to flirt with call centre agents, or ask where the closest chicken take-away store was.
"Only dial in real emergencies, 10111. If it's a minor housebreaking... rather phone the police station."
Pool said the majority of these calls were from children, made from public phones.
"On a school day it's all quiet until the bell rings... then they start phoning."
Parents were asked to educate their children about the consequences of making prank calls on an emergency number. Police would also go to schools to talk to children.
Call centre agents would soon be able to press a button and capture details of so-called nuisance calls, Pool said.
This would allow officers to physically monitor public telephone hotspots and specific numbers.
Successful prosecutions of offenders had yet to be made.