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Police Shame Pranksters On YouTube

CmdrTaco posted more than 6 years ago | from the because-they-can dept.

The Internet 390

Barence writes "British police are shaming hoax 999 callers and time-wasters on YouTube in an effort to cut down on non-emergency calls. Video clips uploaded include a lady phoning police to ask what year the internet started, the dramatic tale of a man whose wife would only provide salmon sandwiches for lunch, and another worried soul who had lost her glasses and could not see properly to peel potatoes. Anyone else think the chance of YouTube fame is more likely to encourage copycats than educate people about the wrongs of hoax calling?"

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Salmon sandwiches, eh? (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24400109)

Salmon sandwiches, eh? Lucky guy.

Oh, first post.

You know the best way to deal with cops? (1)

professional_troll (1178701) | more than 6 years ago | (#24400141)

Cunt punt!

Re:Salmon sandwiches, eh? (4, Funny)

xaxa (988988) | more than 6 years ago | (#24400221)

The salmon sandwiches are left over from last night! Oh no!
http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=pCuWcM0kq2U [youtube.com]

Jolly Good! (5, Funny)

HaloZero (610207) | more than 6 years ago | (#24400121)

Let's start a channel to isolate these hooligans. Keep them all in one place, for our own efficient comic consump-.... I mean, to prevent their debauchery from spreading throughout all of YouTube! (Yeah. Right?)

Congrats, America!!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24400659)

While you were sleeping, and while the press was busy fellating Obama, Congress passed and the President signed the irresponsible lender/borrower windfall bill. The final cap on the mortgages that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are allowed to buy, and the FHA is allowed to insure: $625,000. I think if you fickle mush-heads would actually pay attention once in a while, you'd be hard-pressed to call someone in a $625k house a "struggling homeowner." This is more of a "greedy yuppie and congressional pals at irresponsible banks" bail-out bill. As for "average" folks whose ARM blew up, perhaps you should try to read and comprehend the lender's terms next time. If you can't do that, then you aren't ready for home ownership just yet.

Re:Congrats, America!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24400721)

There were some eggs in China that were really interested in that blab.

Re:Congrats, America!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24400749)

Not sure where you live, but where I live, 800 sq ft. and 2 bedroom 1 bath is about 650 to 700k. I guess we could opt for that big box behind Safeway though......

Bloody Brilliant Idea (5, Insightful)

PakProtector (115173) | more than 6 years ago | (#24400123)

Is it just me, or is England already well down the spiral towards "What the Fuck are you Thinking, Nation?"

Re:Bloody Brilliant Idea (2, Informative)

geekmux (1040042) | more than 6 years ago | (#24400243)

Is it just me, or is England already well down the spiral towards "What the Fuck are you Thinking, Nation?"

Err...I wouldn't exactly call the Youth of America contenders for the Olympics in the categories of Intelligence and Common Sense.

In the history of Education, I don't think we've had standards any lower. Good thing we're not leaving any children "behind".

Re:Bloody Brilliant Idea (4, Insightful)

PakProtector (115173) | more than 6 years ago | (#24400311)

I'm not talking about the Youth -- that's an entirely separate discussion.

I'm talking about the namby-pamby morons in charge of the nation; people who are worried that the police dogs are going to scare the criminals they're being used against, or say that an adult can't take pictures of vandals because they're minors.

Re:Bloody Brilliant Idea (2, Insightful)

geekmux (1040042) | more than 6 years ago | (#24400625)

I'm talking about the namby-pamby morons in charge of the nation; people who are worried that the police dogs are going to scare the criminals they're being used against, or say that an adult can't take pictures of vandals because they're minors.

Good point, and I stand corrected. When digging for a solution, one must look for the root cause. IMHO, that root cause has been the downward spiral of our legal system. Until we start threatening disbarment on lawyers that bring us the no-shit-it's-hot coffee lawsuits and punishing judges that actually allow this tripe through the doors of a courtroom, we will continue to be a paralyzed nation, hog-tied under the threat of ligitation.

Re:Bloody Brilliant Idea (5, Insightful)

icebrain (944107) | more than 6 years ago | (#24400839)

Well, to be fair (and assuming I remember the details correctly), the coffee in that cse was a lot hotter than it was supposed to be. So it's not quite as moronic as it sounds at first.

But seriously, the perp suing the homeowner because he hurt himself breaking in? Throwing a homeowner in jail for shooting perps that broke into his house, while said perps with long rap sheets get off? Guy fights back against someone who attacks him with a knife, and goes to jail for it? WTF, England?

This is meant on an entirely serious note... should we bring back public floggings for some offenses? I think that would be a lot more effective than the figurative slap on the wrist that is so often employed.

Re:Bloody Brilliant Idea (4, Funny)

CowboyNealOption (1262194) | more than 6 years ago | (#24400381)

I wouldn't exactly call the Youth of America contenders for the Olympics in the categories of Intelligence and Common Sense.

I can't wait to see these events on tv. I wonder if anyone will spontaneously catch fire after they lose an event?

Re:Bloody Brilliant Idea (2, Insightful)

residieu (577863) | more than 6 years ago | (#24400803)

Yeah, but they're youth. They're supposed to be stupid. Here's the police, who are supposed to have sense, taking people who are wasting public resources because they want attention and giving them even more attention by putitng them on YouTube. What are they Thinking?

Re:Bloody Brilliant Idea (-1, Troll)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 6 years ago | (#24400245)

Is it just me, or is England already well down the spiral towards "What the Fuck are you Thinking, Nation?"

British asshattery and hooliganism is world renowned.

Wouldn't it be fair to say that the British people are getting the government they deserve?

Re:Bloody Brilliant Idea (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24400379)

For what? Maybe our forefathers did some bastardly things in their day, but we're still pretty peaceful and don't go stomping around the globe attacking anyone that MAY just be a terrorist, all because we're too scared to admit that shit happens sometimes.
At least we just get on with things and don't let them terrify us into doing stupid things...

Re:Bloody Brilliant Idea (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24400523)

Hmm, let me check. Yep, US invades Iraq, Britain follows like lost puppy. Too bad.. Not sure why you got an insightful mod.

Re:Bloody Brilliant Idea (1)

mrogers (85392) | more than 6 years ago | (#24400613)

Maybe our forefathers did some bastardly things in their day, but we're still pretty peaceful and don't go stomping around the globe attacking anyone that MAY just be a terrorist, all because we're too scared to admit that shit happens sometimes.

Sorry, I thought we were talking about Britain - you know, the country that helped the US to invade and occupy Afghanistan and Iraq. The country with a long and ongoing history of international aggression. Falklands War ring a bell? Mau Mau Rebellion? How about the Suez Crisis? But you seem to be talking about a nation of tolerant, self-possessed, peace-loving people, which bears no resemblance to Britain past or present. Would you be so kind as to tell me the name of this wonderful country so I can move there?

Re:Bloody Brilliant Idea (2, Insightful)

hobbit (5915) | more than 6 years ago | (#24400807)

I agree with you in general -- but the Falklands War a war of aggression on Britain's part? Could you please elaborate?

Re:Bloody Brilliant Idea (3, Interesting)

xaxa (988988) | more than 6 years ago | (#24400859)

Sorry, I thought we were talking about Britain - you know, the country that helped the US to invade and occupy Afghanistan and Iraq.

At all times, Britain seems to me to have had less support from its people for either the Afghanistan or Iraq wars than America had from its people.

The country with a long and ongoing history of international aggression. Falklands War ring a bell?

(Argentina started that one, I don't think you can blame Britain for defending a territory held for 160 years.)

Re:Bloody Brilliant Idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24400687)

At least we just get on with things and don't let them terrify us into doing stupid things...

You mean like backing the US resource wars or establishing a surveillance state? Yeah, congrats on avoiding that.

Re:Bloody Brilliant Idea (1)

purpledinoz (573045) | more than 6 years ago | (#24400331)

English is racing against the United States. Who's winning though?

Re:Bloody Brilliant Idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24400557)

Is that you Sherif Ali?

Re:Bloody Brilliant Idea (2, Interesting)

abstract daddy (1307763) | more than 6 years ago | (#24400393)

Basically, Britain is fucked. Everything there is collapsing, including common sense.

Re:Bloody Brilliant Idea (1)

Atari400 (1174925) | more than 6 years ago | (#24400827)

Is it just me, or is England already well down the spiral towards "What the Fuck are you Thinking, Nation?"

I'm not sure this is entirely fair, the callers sounded more confused than anything, and were handled quite courteously by the Police (well, before they got posted on youtube, anyway). It's not like they were SWATTING someone.

As for "What the Fuck are you Thinking, Nation?"... George W. Bush anyone (twice)?

Incidentally, I wonder whether the rise in calls to 999 is partly due to it being quicker now to dial the number than with the old rotary phones (less time to change your mind/get cold feet)?

Re:Bloody Brilliant Idea (2, Interesting)

abigsmurf (919188) | more than 6 years ago | (#24400945)

Possibly due to mobiles dialing 999/112/911 in their pocket. It's required for phone makers to make those numbers dialable, even with keylock on.

Re:Bloody Brilliant Idea (3, Insightful)

Alsee (515537) | more than 6 years ago | (#24400951)

Is it just me, or is England already well down the spiral towards "What the Fuck are you Thinking, Nation?"

England? Just you.
Homo Sapiens, the "What the Fuck are you Thinking, Species".

-

Yes (2, Insightful)

Oh no, it's Dixie (1332795) | more than 6 years ago | (#24400127)

If anything, the prank callers should be given less attention. That being said, the videos are hilarious, and I want more of them.

Ooh, Sounds fun! (4, Funny)

B4light (1144317) | more than 6 years ago | (#24400137)

I want to go make a prank emergency call too! :D

TRUFAX. (2, Insightful)

Rob T Firefly (844560) | more than 6 years ago | (#24400155)

Anyone else think the chance of YouTube fame is more likely to encourage copycats than educate people about the wrongs of hoax calling?

Yes, because there was certainly no such thing as prank phone calls before Youtube came along.

Re:TRUFAX. (4, Informative)

LighterShadeOfBlack (1011407) | more than 6 years ago | (#24400231)

Anyone else think the chance of YouTube fame is more likely to encourage copycats than educate people about the wrongs of hoax calling?

Yes, because there was certainly no such thing as prank phone calls before Youtube came along.

Yes, because that's what the GP said. He said "Youtube will create the concept of prank calling". It's not like he made a valid point about it encouraging idiots to get some 'fame' for themselves, or possibly memeifying the worst calls and making them into regular prank call trolls. Way to miss the point.

Re:TRUFAX. (2, Interesting)

Rob T Firefly (844560) | more than 6 years ago | (#24400471)

Yes, because that's what the GP said. He said "Youtube will create the concept of prank calling". It's not like he made a valid point about it encouraging idiots to get some 'fame' for themselves, or possibly memeifying the worst calls and making them into regular prank call trolls. Way to miss the point.

Perhaps I did miss the point of that question, thanks for pointing that out. Without being a sarcastic asshat, what I mean is that I still don't think Youtube fame has or will have any appreciable effect on prank phone calls to 999. Prank calling has been around for ages, and there have always been a percentage of prank callers doing it to get "noticed" in some way, trying to be the next Jerky Boys or what have you. The medium has just shifted with the times; the folks who in past generations may have been swapping around bootleg prank call audiocassettes or putting scratchy early 1990s Realaudio clips on the web are now posting to Youtube. But I don't believe the fact that it's Youtube really means more people will be doing this who would have otherwise not done so, nor will the fact that the police put out their own ads asking people not to affect it. Those who are going to prank 999 have already made their choice without being swayed toward it by a well-meaning commercial.

Just for the record, I've always dug phone pranks, but I've never enjoyed ones involving emergency operators. They've got better things to do.

Re:TRUFAX. (3, Interesting)

Dancindan84 (1056246) | more than 6 years ago | (#24400351)

People have no respect for anyone any more, themselves included. If they want them to stop they should hit them where it hurts, in their wallet. Even a small $50 fine for a non-emergency 999/911 call would be enough to deter pranksters.

Re:TRUFAX. (2, Insightful)

Rob T Firefly (844560) | more than 6 years ago | (#24400543)

People have no respect for anyone any more, themselves included. If they want them to stop they should hit them where it hurts, in their wallet. Even a small $50 fine for a non-emergency 999/911 call would be enough to deter pranksters.

I agree that 999/911/etc. pranksters deserve some sort of punishment, but the fact of the matter is it's easy enough to avoid having such calls traced back to you that anyone can do it with little to no hassle. With a little Googling and effort anyone can spoof their phone number, or even simply use a public phone that doesn't have a camera pointed at it.

Re:TRUFAX. (1)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 6 years ago | (#24400605)

Two issues:

1) The fact that it is technically doable doesn't mean that folks will work around the caller id. The majority of folks do stuff like this on a spur of the moment impulse. Most of them aren't thinking far enough ahead to try this.

2) I could be wrong on this, but I believe the police (in the US anyhow) won't be spoofed. I believe there is another protocol in place where they can actually record where you are calling from.

Re:TRUFAX. (1)

Rob T Firefly (844560) | more than 6 years ago | (#24400813)

) The fact that it is technically doable doesn't mean that folks will work around the caller id. The majority of folks do stuff like this on a spur of the moment impulse. Most of them aren't thinking far enough ahead to try this.

I do wonder whether it's actually the majority, but at any rate those people will be found and punished for this particular crime, while others won't.

I could be wrong on this, but I believe the police (in the US anyhow) won't be spoofed. I believe there is another protocol in place where they can actually record where you are calling from.

It's quite possible to spoof 911, from complex technical workarounds I won't go into to simply beige-boxing [wikipedia.org] someone else's line. I don't endorse such actions or course, but that doesn't make it any less technically possible.

Re:TRUFAX. (5, Funny)

clang_jangle (975789) | more than 6 years ago | (#24400785)

simply use a public phone that doesn't have a camera pointed at it.

What, in England?!

Itsatrick (4, Funny)

krkhan (1071096) | more than 6 years ago | (#24400165)

Anyone else think the chance of YouTube fame is more likely to encourage copycats than educate people about the wrongs of hoax calling?"

Anyone else think that British Police *is* the one going after Youtube fame because they weren't getting enough channel views?

Not a bad idea (4, Interesting)

neokushan (932374) | more than 6 years ago | (#24400171)

It's not a bad idea, but as the summary theorised, it's just going to create a bunch of copycats.
What they should do is list how much each person has been charged for these hoax calls to hammer home that it just wont be tolerated.
It makes me sick when people waste the Emergency service's time like this and I genuinely believe they should all be harshly punished for it - people's lives are at stake, there's no excuse.

Re:Not a bad idea (-1, Redundant)

Swizec (978239) | more than 6 years ago | (#24400223)

In most of the modern world calling an emergency service is free of charge though.

Re:Not a bad idea (4, Informative)

EdZ (755139) | more than 6 years ago | (#24400295)

The call is free of charge. The fine for abusing the service isn't.

Re:Not a bad idea (5, Informative)

xaxa (988988) | more than 6 years ago | (#24400489)

A non-emergency number (101 [101.gov.uk] ) was launched a couple of years ago in some areas to try and reduce the number of calls to 999, it's meant to be used for: reporting vandalism and graffiti; noise nuisance; threatening and abusive behaviour; abandoned vehicles; dumping and fly tipping; drunk and rowdy groups; drug related anti-social behaviour; and broken street lighting.

There's also NHS Direct [nhsdirect.nhs.uk] (0845 46 47), for medical non-emergencies.

Perhaps Google could launch a service to cover everything else, with some voice recognition, a Google search and an audio web browser.

Re:Not a bad idea (2, Interesting)

WombatDeath (681651) | more than 6 years ago | (#24400939)

It makes me sick when people waste the Emergency service's time like this and I genuinely believe they should all be harshly punished for it - people's lives are at stake, there's no excuse.

I agree with the sentiment, but I think the difficulty lies in punishing the offenders without deterring people from reporting genuine emergencies, in the fear that they'll be punished if their problem isn't sufficiently severe.

I wouldn't classify any of the youtube clips as 'correct' emergency calls, but I can sympathise with at least a couple of them. One clip involves a woman whose house has been invaded by wasps, and I can imagine some people finding that sufficiently scary to panic and mistakenly classify it as an emergency. Another is superfically silly - an elderly woman who can't peel potatoes because she can't find her glasses - but, again, if you're old and confused and can't see well enough to eat, it could (in muddled sort of way) be a significant problem. And who do you call do deal with significant problems?

Again, I'm all for punishing people who take the piss, but I don't think it's a trivial line to draw.

yeah ... (1)

omar.sahal (687649) | more than 6 years ago | (#24400181)

Anyone else think the chance of YouTube fame is more likely to encourage copycats than educate people about the wrongs of hoax calling?

I do

my fave is the gut who called for advice on how to get dye out of his jeans

My YouTube is slow (5, Funny)

wisty (1335733) | more than 6 years ago | (#24400185)

My ISP is slow, and I can't download those videos fast enough. Is there anyone I can call for help?

Re:My YouTube is slow (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24400337)

I hear 999 is great for this.

Re:My YouTube is slow (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24400651)

Offer to do some construction for Ted Stevens. He can unclog your YouTubes.

Youtube fame!? (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 6 years ago | (#24400189)

It's not as though it's that hard to get on youtube. You can get your picture as well as your voice if you like.

Brilliant... (4, Insightful)

whisper_jeff (680366) | more than 6 years ago | (#24400195)

These 14 year old twits are looking for attention so the cops are giving them international exposure... That couldn't possibly backfire and have the exact opposite outcome... Seriously, if the cops can't understand the very simple and basic motivation of pranksters, what does that say for their ability to understand criminals?...

Re:Brilliant... (4, Informative)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 6 years ago | (#24400677)

Did you listen to the clips? The two linked ones were both elderly ladies, not '14 year old twits,' They didn't sound like crank calls, just people genuinely not understanding what 999 is for (or even what the police are for, in one case).

How about a dead mouse on a porch? (5, Interesting)

grasshoppa (657393) | more than 6 years ago | (#24400207)

Except it wasn't a prank. The lady actually believed she could call the cops to get a dead mouse off her porch.

A friend of mine was the dispatcher who took the call, and he kept the recording.

Re:How about a dead mouse on a porch? (1)

EvilMonkeySlayer (826044) | more than 6 years ago | (#24400343)

I honestly don't see why legislation hasn't been put in place that fines people for frivolous calls, I mean when you phone 999 you know it's for the emergency services. There is no excuse except perhaps you're senile, in which case a medical professional should provide proof of such and you don't have to pay the fine.. and perhaps get your phone taken away because you're senile and calling 999.

The current government has been legislation happy, this is something that actually needs it.

Re:How about a dead mouse on a porch? (5, Insightful)

operagost (62405) | more than 6 years ago | (#24400711)

I'd humbly suggest that removing the phone from the house of an elderly, helpless, senile person is probably not a complete solution.

Re:How about a dead mouse on a porch? (2, Insightful)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 6 years ago | (#24400433)

We have had cities for 5000 years yet soooo many people are still incapable of civilized behavior, be it due to nitwittery or hooliganism. Clearly we need to give the process of natural selection an assist in this case and rid the population of such individuals through summary execution.

Some of the new crimes against civilization should be:

o Texting whilst driving
o Driving under the influence of disabling drugs
o Prank calls to emergency services
o Sexual abuse of children
o Invasion of privacy by a government official
o Inability to find the roots of a quadratic

etc.

Youtube?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24400227)

How can you shame anyone posting to one of the lagest shameless places on the net?

Re:Youtube?! (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24400267)

How can you shame anyone posting to one of the lagest shameless places on the net?

Are you talking about youtube or slashdot?

Got a slightly better idea (1)

Coraon (1080675) | more than 6 years ago | (#24400239)

Insted of giving these people a forum on youtube post video of a cop shooting these people and when they call for help the person on the other end says "haha, not going to fall for you pranking me again." I think THAT would be funny.

Re:Got a slightly better idea (1)

martin_henry (1032656) | more than 6 years ago | (#24400655)

If I were a british taxpayer, I would probably be all for this (as long as there were a short ban period, say days or weeks).

Hoaxes Versus Timewasters (3, Insightful)

mdwh2 (535323) | more than 6 years ago | (#24400255)

Anyone else think the chance of YouTube fame is more likely to encourage copycats than educate people about the wrongs of hoax calling?

For people who intentionally timewaste, maybe, but if there are really people who think it's normal to use 999 for some trivial matter, then raising awareness like this may be useful (though perhaps there is the danger that although it might reduce ignorance, it might increase people who intentionally pretend to be ignorant for a joke).

I haven't looked at these videos, but they have done this sort of thing before on their own sites - one thing that struck me was just how long the operators remain on the call, in some cases getting into a long drawn out discussion about it. If timewasting is such a problem, why not hang up straight away, or press a button to play a recorded message?

I'm also curious how likely this is to be a problem - the usual problem with hoax calls is that a police/ambulance is sent out unnecessarily, but that doesn't apply here. If the volume of calls is so large that it's common for people to wait in a queue to be answered, wouldn't it be worthwhile to, you know, hire some more operators?

The cost of these timewasters should be the cost of the person's time who was employed to answer the call. If the cost is someone's life, then something's wrong with the system.

Re:Hoaxes Versus Timewasters (2, Insightful)

xaxa (988988) | more than 6 years ago | (#24400577)

one thing that struck me was just how long the operators remain on the call, in some cases getting into a long drawn out discussion about it. If timewasting is such a problem, why not hang up straight away, or press a button to play a recorded message?

One of the videos has the 999 operator telling the caller he'll now hear the recorded message.

Perhaps the operators can see how busy the queue of callers is -- if there aren't any calls in the queue, they may as well try and make sure the person who called 999 about their sandwiches doesn't ever call back.

I'm also curious how likely this is to be a problem - the usual problem with hoax calls is that a police/ambulance is sent out unnecessarily, but that doesn't apply here. If the volume of calls is so large that it's common for people to wait in a queue to be answered, wouldn't it be worthwhile to, you know, hire some more operators?

The cost of these timewasters should be the cost of the person's time who was employed to answer the call. If the cost is someone's life, then something's wrong with the system.

"Around 10 million 999 calls to the police were made in 2004, but an incredible 70% of these were not for genuine emergencies."
Since the calls are answered and last a minute or more, there are presumably enough operators. Perhaps they are just trying to cut down on the number of operators they need.

Re:Hoaxes Versus Timewasters (1)

mdwh2 (535323) | more than 6 years ago | (#24400825)

Perhaps the operators can see how busy the queue of callers is -- if there aren't any calls in the queue, they may as well try and make sure the person who called 999 about their sandwiches doesn't ever call back.

I agree. Of course if that's the case, it's no longer true that they're endangering anyone's life.

"Around 10 million 999 calls to the police were made in 2004, but an incredible 70% of these were not for genuine emergencies."

I wonder if all of these are as mad stupid cases as those in the videos - that seems hard to believe - or if they are more borderline cases. I can think of some circumstances where a crime has been committed, but it's not clear whether it requires calling 999 or not.

You'd hope they'd focus their efforts on what sort of calls constitutes the majority of that 70%, rather than just picking on the more extreme cases.

Privacy? (1, Flamebait)

houghi (78078) | more than 6 years ago | (#24400259)

I see no reason why these calls should be placed on line. I would expect them to respect my privacy, but instead they post in online without my consent. So will we now hear a message like 'this call can be recorded for training purposes, oh and we might also post it on the Intertubes'.

No matter if this is legal or not, it is something that should just be 'not done'. I for sure know then when I see somebody in an emergency, I will think twice before I call and most likely decide my privacy is more worth then the life of some kid.

So obviously they have not thought this through. Please think of the children!

Re:Privacy? (1)

archeopterix (594938) | more than 6 years ago | (#24400355)

'this call can be recorded for training purposes, oh and we might also post it on the Intertubes'.

'... if, and only if, you are a total asshat. '

I am perfectly ok with that. Are you not?

Re:Privacy? (1)

houghi (78078) | more than 6 years ago | (#24400437)

No, I am not. Privacy must protect both the nice and the asshats alike. I do not see why an asshat would loose his privacy.

Re:Privacy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24400585)

Tough. You lose your right to privacy in that instance when you commit a crime, such as crank calling 911/999. Nobody is posting the 911/999 calls of people calling with genuine emergencies (and the real-emergency ones that are shown on TV/presented are done so with permission and in exceptional cases, like a three year old calling 911 for his mom or something). If you're stupid enough to crank call emergency services, then you should expect your privacy to be given the same amount of respect that you have shown for the operator who could have saved a life if you weren't being an abject fucktard.

I've had to call 911 on more than one occasion, once in a life-or-death situation. I would personally hunt down and gut the bastard who tied up 911 that day if I could not have got help in time. I daresay I'm not alone in that sentiment.

Re:Privacy? (1)

SimonGhent (57578) | more than 6 years ago | (#24400909)

No, I am not. Privacy must protect both the nice and the asshats alike. I do not see why an asshat would loose his privacy.

If you truly believed that why did you not post as AC?

Re:Privacy? (2, Funny)

bhima (46039) | more than 6 years ago | (#24400497)

I don't think the intertubes are big enough to post phone calls of all the asshats in the world. I mean it's not like a truck or anything.

Re:Privacy? (5, Insightful)

Dhalka226 (559740) | more than 6 years ago | (#24400539)

I for sure know then when I see somebody in an emergency, I will think twice before I call and most likely decide my privacy is more worth then the life of some kid.

You, sir, are an idiot. I know Slashdotters love worthless hyperbole, but if you would seriously even THINK about letting somebody DIE because you--what, don't want people to hear your voice?--then you're simply a worthless human being. Period.

Privacy my ass.

Re:Privacy? (1)

Pvt_Ryan (1102363) | more than 6 years ago | (#24400573)

Well if you are fucking stupid enough to phone 999 for something that is not an emergency then really you need help and donâ(TM)t deserve the privacy.

Also you should be charged with wasting police time.

On the privacy note they have respected your privacy; no personably identifiable information has been released.

Re:Privacy? (1)

RandoX (828285) | more than 6 years ago | (#24400617)

No privacy when it comes to public record.

Re:Privacy? (1)

xaxa (988988) | more than 6 years ago | (#24400657)

I see no reason why these calls should be placed on line.

How about, to discourage them (in theory)? I think the expectation of privacy of a 999 call ends when the call is a prank, or a clear non-emergency.

I would expect them to respect my privacy, but instead they post in online without my consent.

(They may have consent, they can get someone to call back and ask.)

I for sure know then when I see somebody in an emergency, I will think twice before I call and most likely decide my privacy is more worth then the life of some kid.

Seriously? You have fucked-up priorities.

Re:Privacy? (2, Interesting)

ericspinder (146776) | more than 6 years ago | (#24400697)

I see no reason why these calls should be placed on line. I would expect them to respect my privacy, but instead they post in online without my consent.

911 calls are the 'hue and cry' [wikipedia.org] of the modern age. I don't know the exact rules (I think they vary), but I believe that most consider them to be public records. Sure, names and addresses should be censored (if not already, I of course am exercising my rght not to RTFA), at least for legitimate criminal complaints. The time wasters on the other hand, I believe need to be publicly flogged, and have their phone number listed; Imagine the fun civic minded pranksters could have with these fools. However I'm willing to accept that that's over the top, and allow even the ignorant their anonymity, if they don't prosecute.

Don't feed the trolls? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24400265)

Yea, feed the trolls, British Police. That'll teach them. It's worked so great in getting rid of the AC trolls on Slashdot so far O.o

What comes around goes around... (3, Interesting)

geekmux (1040042) | more than 6 years ago | (#24400309)

(5 years later)"Well, we would like to hire you in our call center, but it seems our background check shows you being a Dumb Ass(TM) a few years ago."

TM Copyright Red Forman Inc.

Re:What comes around goes around... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24400425)

Ya, because not getting a low paid job at a call center is certainly the end of the world for these people.

Hoaxes, or mental illness? (4, Insightful)

gravyface (592485) | more than 6 years ago | (#24400321)

I haven't RTFM, but having worked with paranoid schizophrenics and Alzheimer's sufferers in the past, I would bet that some of these "pranksters" may actually be mentally ill; I hope our public servants are at least screening these individuals before humiliating them on YouTube.

Re:Hoaxes, or mental illness? (1)

gravyface (592485) | more than 6 years ago | (#24400335)

Oops. "RTFA"... or RTFM for that matter.

Re:Hoaxes, or mental illness? (3, Insightful)

bamwham (1211702) | more than 6 years ago | (#24400427)

Many "frequent fliers" with ambulance services are just lonely and depressed elderly people who need someone to talk to. I would guess many 911(or 999 as the case may be) time wasters (as opposed to pranksters) have the same issues. It would be nice if society could find a way to reknit the social fabric that used to help these people.

Re:Hoaxes, or mental illness? (1)

mc900ftjesus (671151) | more than 6 years ago | (#24400441)

Would they even know?

Re:Hoaxes, or mental illness? (1)

Beniamino (21297) | more than 6 years ago | (#24400593)

I agree, having listened to just one call. It was an old lady who had lost her glasses, and was clearly in a state of genuine distress and confusion. Of course, it wasn't something the police could deal with, but she was certainly not a prank caller. I see no reason why her mental infirmity should be paraded by the police on youtube.

Anyone who feels the same way might want to complain by sending a message to Avon and Somerset Police on youtube here [youtube.com]

How to deal with hoax emergency calls... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24400345)

Track down the caller's number.
Call them back in a few weeks.
Tell them that you're calling from the hospital and that their parents are dead.

Re:How to deal with hoax emergency calls... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24400449)

I know my parents are dead. They've been dead for years.

Re:How to deal with hoax emergency calls... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24400787)

Then clarify that "Well, yes. They are dead again. They were wandering around attacking people for a while, though."

So, with that, turn an uncomfortable situation into an uncomfortable AND hilarious one!

Good Idea (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24400419)

True story, I was in a gift shop a few years ago and a woman became irate that the shop was supposedly selling beanie babies at too high a price. She picked up the phone on the counter and dialed 911. Apparently the 911 operators were extra busy right then dealing with a large number of overpriced beanie baby complaints, and possibly with calls involving theft, rapes, and murders, and did not pick up immediately, so she hung up and stomped out. About 5 minutes later a police officer walks in asking if someone had called 911. When he was told the situation he got a really, really, disgusted look on his face and left.

This won't work (1)

CaptSaltyJack (1275472) | more than 6 years ago | (#24400457)

Like situations with pranksters and bullies alike, you're just giving them what they want: attention. If I came up with some hilarious script to use to prank 999, and it made it to YouTube, I'd be thrilled! The only people who will feel ashamed are those who placed legit calls that got misinterpreted as pranks (e.g. "help, I got raped by a donkey while wanking in a field").

By all means, upload film of your crimes (1)

192939495969798999 (58312) | more than 6 years ago | (#24400459)

Why would we want to stop people from providing indisputable evidence of who committed a particular crime? This should really help to clear the streets of idiots, right? I'm sure it comes as a shock to these people that video evidence generally means a much more hardcore sentence, especially because the "beyond a reasonable doubt" is totally gone at that point. Furthermore, a video uploaded proves intent included malice and an unremorseful attitude. Time to fire up ol'sparky!

last couple of frames should be the charges (3, Insightful)

RichMan (8097) | more than 6 years ago | (#24400511)

The last bit of each segments should list the charges/fines against the person who called.

Examples:
Called 911 for a tuna sandwich, $400 fine.

Called 911 for the capital of Spain, 2 weeks community service.

Sure the internet notoriety might get some to call but it could be balanced by showing the penalty applied.

Re:last couple of frames should be the charges (1)

IceCreamGuy (904648) | more than 6 years ago | (#24400911)

Called 911 for a tuna sandwich, $400 fine.

Called 911 for the capital of Spain, 2 weeks community service.

Called 911 for getting flamed on slashdot, priceless.

*Some* British Police (3, Informative)

Tim C (15259) | more than 6 years ago | (#24400513)

From TFA, this appears to be being done only by Avon and Somerset Police. Something most people aren't aware of is that the 43 ("geographical") police forces of England and Wales (there are a number of "non-geographical" ones too, such as British Transport Police) are essentially separate companies. Or at least they were 2 years ago when I was working on a project to assist in inter-force information sharing.

The point being that you'll very often find a given force doing something that none of the rest are, as apparently is the case here. So yes, "British police" are doing this, but only in two counties.

Re:*Some* British Police (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24400595)

Avon and Somerset Police

Unfortunately, these forces have the combined intelligence of a toothpick.

How about citizens shaming the police? (1, Offtopic)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 6 years ago | (#24400575)

Some officers don't just abuse their position, they seem to think they're the law and can do anything they want, including hurting people for no good reason.

NYPD Officer Stripped of Badge After YouTube Video Shows Cyclist Shove:
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,392901,00.html [foxnews.com]

Re:How about citizens shaming the police? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24400847)

I clicked that link before I realised it was for *ugh* Fox news.

I need to shower now.

Re:How about citizens shaming the police? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24400899)

FOX NEWSWIRE --- Militant clyclist group "No 2 leader" captured ---

A cyclist taking part in a demonstration to deliberately undermine the U.S economy by blockading a New York street was valiantly captured by an officer of the law yesterday. The militant cyclist group have been terrorising citizens for years including disrupting emergency services and undercover agents who's job it is to Keep America Safe.

FOX NEWS - We report, we decide.

This is a mental health issue (4, Insightful)

cenonce (597067) | more than 6 years ago | (#24400643)

This is a mental health issue, and a stupid way of dealing with it. I work in a Public Defender's Office, and while I am sure some of these people are jerks, my experience has been that people who call emergency services with these kinds of requests often have mental health issues. That is why a lot of jurisdictions have mental health diversionary programs for people who commit minor offenses. Embarassing the mentally ill on the internet will only embolden them at best, but certainly not help them deal with their issues in any way. In that regard, this solution seems rather callous.

I'm astonished (1)

crmarvin42 (652893) | more than 6 years ago | (#24400799)

that crank calling the emergency phone number isn't illegal and that violators aren't punished (fines of rapidly increasing value).

These emergency services are set up to protect the public and tying up the line asking stupid questions about the age of the internet or bitching about what your wife is making for dinner could very well mean the difference between life, death, and/or permanent disability for someone not able to get through immediately.

A little OT (-1, Redundant)

operagost (62405) | more than 6 years ago | (#24400809)

Does anyone else think that "999" is too easy to hit accidentally? I wonder how many of these false calls were just little kids punching the numbers to play "music" or someone using the Dilbert random number generator [random.org] . I think the USA's 911 is a better compromise.

Shaming? (1)

DaveV1.0 (203135) | more than 6 years ago | (#24400837)

There is no "shame" anymore. Shame is so 1950s.

If there were such a thing as shame, Paris Hilton would be a nobody and the sex-tape would not be what wanna-be and ex celebs use to jump start their careers.

These aren't prank calls (1)

plingboot (1246808) | more than 6 years ago | (#24400937)

We've seen a lot of these in the media recently, part of an ongoing campaign to educate the public about what is a real 999 emergency. It might be hard to believe but these aren't prank calls. These callers actually believe their call is an emergency! They should rightfully be shamed when the nation points and laughs. They get a lot of media air play and laughs but underlying message only real emergencies please is I believe carried through.

How about this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24400953)

0118999881999119725 3

Terrible examples (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24400959)

Okay, the woman asking when the internets were created was not the sharpest knife in the drawer, but the poor old woman who'd lost her specs was clearly distressed. I'm disgusted by the attitude of the commenters here and on youtube at their lack of sympathy for this old woman. And I'm disgusted that the police consider this a good example of time-wasting on their 999 emergency service.

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