The National Police Agency (NPA) is asking the public not to use the emergency 110 phone number to make non-urgent calls.
The NPA said in a report released on Monday, which is designated as 110番の日 (#110 Day), that from Jan 1 to Nov 30 last year, a total of 7,846,738 calls were made to 110 nationwide. The number was nearly 190,000 more than in 2020. The NPA said that 5,950,000 calls were made from cell phones and that the average response time for a call was 8 minutes and 16 seconds.
The most number of calls were made in Tokyo (1,357, 948), followed by Kanagawa Prefecture (681,924) and Osaka Prefecture (677, 351). The lowest number of 110 calls were made in Akita Prefecture (26,872).
However, the NPA said that 1,516,082 calls, or about 19%, had nothing to do with crimes or accidents, a similar figure to 2020.
Examples given included a call to 110 to complain that someone’s son wouldn’t get out of bed and could a police officer help; a vending machine didn’t work; people who were drunk asking for a ride home in a police car because there were no taxis; where the Tokyo Olympic torch relay could be seen; why one man couldn’t visit his coronavirus-stricken wife in hospital; and a person reporting that his/her computer wasn’t working and what should they do.
The NPA has asked the public to phone the help hotline (#9110) for mundane requests that would otherwise deter police from responding to accidents and disasters.