A leading police officer in Scotland has suggested charging people a premium rate to dial 999 in an attempt to cut costs and the volume of calls.
Anyone experiencing a "genuine emergency" would spend 50p to report it, according to David Hamilton, secretary of the Tayside branch of the Scottish Police Federation, which represents about 1,200 officers.
The suggestion was prompted by his experience in the police control room.
"If we were charged premium rates people would be less likely to use 999 and then you would get people who only need it for real emergencies," he told the Courier newspaper.
"People might say you can't charge this as it's a public service, but control staff are getting tied up. My comments put the topic into the mix and it's a way of doing something about it."
He first raised the issue in a message posted on Twitter, asking: "Maybe time to make 999 a premium rate number? If a genuine emergency you'd spend 50p to report it. Phoneboxes exempt."