A recent report in the Mirror highlighted all that is wrong with the wonderful communication systems we have in place today. If they are used incorrectly they are a real nuisance and can even delay access to services that are urgently required. The Metropolitan Police released recordings of actual calls made so that people would think long and hard about calling over the recent holiday period when services were likely to be stretched.


Callers using emergency services simply to get a police response must recognise that some things are simply not an emergency. The examples included someone complaining about an incorrect takeaway order and another about a dead squirrel in the garden. As John McEnroe famously said at Wimbledon years ago, “You cannot be serious!” Sadly, these people wasting police time were.

Unwanted Calls

It does raise the whole issue of telephone use. People have phones to keep in touch with family and friends, to report emergencies so that they can feel secure and to make enquiries. The problem is that some think that the telephone is the best way to indiscriminately call people in an attempt to sell them something or to cause a general nuisance.

There is legislation in place that aims to stop the practice of such unsolicited calls but to date it has proved to be ineffective. The best way of blocking phone numbers is to take action yourself rather than relying on better legislation any time soon.

Inaccurate Claims

There are a number of companies that claim they can provide you with a service that will eliminate unwanted calls. There is a free national service making similar claims. The evidence suggests that some of these claims simply cannot be substantiated and others provide such an inefficient and laborious process it renders them virtually a waste of time. If you have a telephone and start to block numbers one by one, how long do you think it will take before all the marketing operations are blocked? It would certainly take years.

Community Blocking

What if you were part of a community of 100 and everyone was blocking on their own behalf and yours. That would surely be much better? What if that community was 1000 strong? It would not be long before you would be able to come home from work and relax with little prospect of someone calling uninvited to try to sell you goods and services.

The phone is then purely for friends and family to call and for you to be able to reach them or any other facility or service that you want. The Metropolitan Police, by issuing these real time-wasting calls, has added to the debate in a positive way. The police force is looking for a change of behaviour while the rest of society wants an end to calls being directed to households when not welcome. It can be done, if you find the right service; community blocking works.