After an Amber Alert was issued throughout Ontario on Tuesday, five missing children have been safely located by police. However, it seems that despite the successful recovery of the children, who were all under the age of 15, Ontarians still had a problem with receiving the alert through their phone. After multiple calls were made to 911 after the Amber Alert, it seems that one Ontario resident has been charged by police.
On Tuesday, the Toronto Police confirmed that they had received multiple calls from the public complaining about the most recent Amber Alert. Officer Alex Li even reminded people to "Pls do NOT call police to complain, instead find compassion & have the understanding to help locate these children!"
However, it seems that one Ontarian is facing the consequences of dialing 911 to complain. According to the Hamilton Police, a male was arrested and charged with mischief after calling 911 to complain about the Amber Alert on October 1, 2019.
According to police, the male called 911 to "purposely tie up emergency lines." Police state that the man was angry that the alarm went off when he was trying to rest and even told police that he would continue to call the line because of the alert.
The man, who was later identified as 70-year-old Douglas Bagshaw was released and will appear in court on October 15, 2019.
However, Hamilton Police are now reminding the public that 911 is for emergencies only. In 2018, the Hamilton Police received 195,000 calls, yet one-third of these calls were for non-emergencies, such as people complaining about Amber Alerts.
While the Hamilton Police do not state how or if they will be charging other people who misuse the 911 line, they do state that non-emergency calls take up valuable resources and 911 should only be used when there is a real emergency.
This charge comes after Canadians have been demanding for police to do more about those who misuse 911 lines.
After the Amber Alert on October 1, Canadians were taking to Twitter to demand that more be done about the multiple people who are taking up the resource to complain. Many Canadians suggested fines or charges for those who misuse the line.
In fact, these demands have been coming from Canadians for quite some time.
Since the tragic Amber Alert in February where an 11-year-old Brampton girl was found dead after getting abducted by her father, Canadians have been demanding harsher penalties against those who use 911 inappropriately.
However, it is still unclear how charges will be laid to those who misuse 911 for future calls.