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Brampton mayor calls for individuals making negligent 911 calls to be fined

Brampton’s mayor is calling for individuals misusing the region’s 911 system to be fined as operators deal with a significant increase in calls.

Speaking with Newstalk1010’s Moore in the Morning, Patrick Brown noted that about 40 per cent of calls to emergency services in the Region of Peel were not, in fact, for emergencies.

“We’ve never seen this level of misused calls,” he said. “It’s going up each year and that’s putting an enormous pressure on 911, to the point that we have legitimate emergencies being put on hold because we have negligent calls.”

Officials with the city say there have been a 27 per cent increase in 911 calls since 2022.

In October, Peel Police Chief Nishan Duraippah shared an audio recording of a caller telling a dispatcher their television is “going crazy.”

“I can’t get any channels or nothing,” the caller is heard saying.

“When every second counts, our 911 operators should be responding to critical incidents only,” Duraiappah said in post to X at the time.

Brown echoed those statements and said he believes that issuing fines, like the ones that exist for individuals who falsely pull fire alarms, could make some callers rethink whether or not its actually an emergency.

He cited school zones as an example, saying a sign that said “don’t speed” didn’t change behaviour but photo radar devices that could automatically issue drivers a ticket had a real impact.

“You hit someone in their pocketbook, they change their behavior,” he said.

The ultimate decision rests on the council for the Region of Peel, who is responsible for police services.

In Peel and Toronto, wait times for emergency services are on the rise—meaning that some callers may have to wait on the line before a dispatcher can respond.

Officials are urging callers to wait instead of hanging up out of frustration, as it means a dispatcher has to call them back to determine if there is an emergency. This can cause further delays in the system.

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