Misuse of 911 could result in criminal charges: Kingston Police
(Dec 29, 2017 - Kingston, ON) Kingston Police are cautioning that misuse of the 911 dispatch system for anything other than emergencies could result in criminal charges. While it is commonly understood that 911 ought to only be called for life-threatening matters requiring police, fire or ambulance response, reminders are occasionally required when dispatchers are occupied with calls which are deemed to be blatant abuses of the system.
Responding to reports that a Kingston resident had called 911 repeatedly to complain about the lack of plowing on her residential street earlier this week, Kingston Police Media Relations Officer Cam Mack said that "in this instance, she is misusing 911, so she could be charged with Mischief if she was warned, but continued to call 911 for non-emergency reasons."
The relevant mischief section of the Criminal Code of Canada reads as follows:
430(1) Every one commits mischief who wilfully
(c) obstructs, interrupts or interferes with the lawful use, enjoyment or operation of property;
"In other words," Mack said, "she is interfering with the lawful use of 911 services by misusing and tying up an emergency line."
Constable Mack could not confirm whether charges would be laid in this particular instance, but if convicted of mischief, a person could be fined or even face imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years.
In matters pertaining to non-emergency municipal services, more appropriate ways to file complaints are to contact the City Of Kingston either by telephone at 613-546-0000, on Twitter at twitter.com/@cityofkingston, or via their Facebook page. For chronic service issues, city councilors for a resident's particular district can be reached via telephone or email. Their contact information can be found at https://www.cityofkingston.ca/city-hall/city-council/find-your-councilor.