Late lawn mowing, poor parking: frivolous triple-zero calls spark ACT police warning

Damien Larkins 2 December 2021 36
Lawn mower by Lake Burley Griffin

Neighbour mowing late at night? Don’t call triple-0. Photo: Michelle Kroll.

Calls to triple-zero by Canberrans over late-night lawn mowing, lost phones and poorly parked cars have prompted a reminder from police that the number is for emergencies only.

ACT Policing fields about 3,000 calls to triple-0 every month, but only half of those calls are for genuine emergencies.

Police say unnecessary calls include:

  • Complaining about a neighbour mowing their lawn at 8:00 pm
  • Asking police to help find a lost phone
  • Seeking urgent child care because their partner is running late coming home from work
  • Complaining someone has parked a car in front of their house
  • Asking police to call their friend as the caller was out of phone credit.

READ ALSO: Gungahlin the city’s safest district although crime rates dropped everywhere during lockdown


In a statement, an ACT Policing spokesperson says these types of unnecessary calls are not on.

“Inappropriate use of the triple-zero number can potentially delay the response to those in genuine need, such as those who are in a life-threatening situation,” they said.

Making a non-emergency to call the emergency number end up costing you.

“It is an offence under ACT and Commonwealth legislation to make a false report to police, to cause police resources to be wasted,” the spokesperson says.

“It is simple – triple-zero is for a genuine emergency or life-threatening situation.”

To paraphrase a familiar line: anything you say on the emergency phone line could be used against you in a court of law.

“Callers are reminded that all calls to ACT Policing Communications, either through triple-zero or the Police Assistance line, are recorded,” the spokesperson says.

If you need to contact the police for a non-urgent situation, or to report something that’s not life-threatening, call 131 444.

Anyone with information about a crime can also call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.


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36 Responses to Late lawn mowing, poor parking: frivolous triple-zero calls spark ACT police warning
Susanne Page Susanne Page 3:21 pm 07 Dec 21

Most of you seem to miss the point.Stop wasting Police time with trivial complaints.There is a UK program about emergencies..it seems ACT residences are not the only ones who don't know what a REAL emergency is.

Robert Hawes Robert Hawes 8:56 am 04 Dec 21

The police should have one number to call, not three. They are blaming the public for something that is their own fault.

Paul South Paul South 3:33 pm 03 Dec 21

So who do you call .

Ghost Busters?

Robert Kearon Robert Kearon 10:29 pm 02 Dec 21

I would rather 8pm than 8am... not everyone is old and Karen

Sharron Baig Sharron Baig 5:42 pm 02 Dec 21

So what is it you's will actually go out for, when you's are called??????

Robyn Holder Robyn Holder 4:41 pm 02 Dec 21

Need to fine people.

    Lauryn Roberts Lauryn Roberts 5:16 pm 02 Dec 21

    Robyn Holder fining unregistered drivers would be a good place to start.

    But despite all the info I give them often they still can’t get the car. 😂 so…

Kunal Chaturvedi Kunal Chaturvedi 3:40 pm 02 Dec 21

Well not that police will respond. fill a form that is archived to a tape drive for posterity. 😊

BM BM 3:32 pm 02 Dec 21

A lawn-mower? In the ACT?? I’d be calling the emergency number if I saw a lawn-mower in the ACT too! What on Earth was it doing? Cutting grass? I hope it’s operator realised grass has to have a minimum height of 1 metre in the ACT.

Ryan Mallard Ryan Mallard 3:04 pm 02 Dec 21

Why show a parliamentary triangle not-gov mower operator working? They do a good job.

Coll Maree Coll Maree 2:51 pm 02 Dec 21

Just don't start at 8.00 on Sunday it's rest dsy

Scottie Zuxkerberg Scottie Zuxkerberg 2:32 pm 02 Dec 21

Sounds like Ken Behrens have moved to KARENBERRA now….. what a sad place this has become under the socialist Labor regime…

Scott Abela Scott Abela 2:30 pm 02 Dec 21

so when did Ken Beherens become KARENBERRA....?

Michael Robinson Michael Robinson 2:26 pm 02 Dec 21

When there’s something strange in the neighbourhood who you going to call?

    Shayne Borger Shayne Borger 2:38 pm 02 Dec 21

    Michael Robinson Ghostbusters....at least they'll turn up unlike ACT Police

Simon Adamson Simon Adamson 2:18 pm 02 Dec 21

Act police dont seem to want to do their actual jobs at the moment. Which is investigating crimes and protecting the community.

    Matthew Pez Matthew Pez 1:41 am 03 Dec 21

    Simon Adamson how is mowing your lawn at 8pm when there is still light a malicious crime?

    Simon Adamson Simon Adamson 10:18 pm 03 Dec 21

    Oh, hell no mowing during daylight hours is fine.

    I was more referring to the cops to attending break ins any more!

Kerri Hallas Kerri Hallas 2:01 pm 02 Dec 21

So many people here missing the the point… they rang 000 !!!

Richard Willcoxson Richard Willcoxson 2:00 pm 02 Dec 21

Don’t bother calling them about burglaries or any other crimes either.

Kerri Hallas Kerri Hallas 1:59 pm 02 Dec 21

Oh not this again, it was a laughable post on ACT policing…

Coralee Rauber Coralee Rauber 1:56 pm 02 Dec 21

It's still daylight at that time so who cares.

Wish my neighbour would mow theirs

    Jane Vukojevic Jane Vukojevic 3:07 pm 02 Dec 21

    It was probably me that they complained about. I started at 6.30 but was still mowing at 8 because the grass was so goddam tall!!!

James Tyrrell James Tyrrell 1:50 pm 02 Dec 21

Grant Papazian 8pm? What idle luxury! How about that old neighbour of yours that you told me mowed the lawn at 1am lol

David Cole David Cole 1:15 pm 02 Dec 21

It would be the same sooks whinging about the long grass. Can’t win with these idiots.

    Nathan Beck Nathan Beck 9:20 pm 02 Dec 21

    David Cole it would be growing faster than they can cut it in this weather 🤣

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