30th Dec 2009

Journalists and numbers

When I was at school I idly thought about becoming a journalist, but didn’t pursue it as it sounded difficult. That was before the internet.

The Guardian today has a story about frivolous 999 calls, in which they claim that “Greater Manchester police said it received almost 1.4m calls between Christmas Eve and Boxing Day, only a fraction of which were genuine emergencies”.

That’s 1.4 million calls. According to Wikipedia, Greater Manchester has a population of 2,573,200, so more than half of the population of Greater Manchester has apparently called 999 in three days.

commenter on the article nailed it. An article on the BBC website, from which the Guardian article is cribbed (or possibly both are cribbed from the same press release), says “Between Christmas Eve and Boxing Day, GMP said it received 1,377 999 calls, but only a fraction were genuine emergencies”. That’s 1,377 calls to 999, not 1,377,999 calls.


2 Responses to “Journalists and numbers”

  1. Rol Says:


    But seriously, if you lived in Greater Manchester, you’d be calling the police too.

  2. Allan Cavanagh Says:

    Oh that is priceless.

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