Life is too short to call the non-emergency 101 number a senior Cambridgeshire police officer told a public meeting before apologising for his remark.
Inspector Matt Johnson of Cambridgeshire’s Safer Neighbourhood scheme made the remarks at a committee meeting.
He said: “Historically I’ve said call 101 but life’s too short.”
He then added: “I’m not supposed to say that, sorry.”
Inspector Johnson’s remarks follow remarks made by Cambridge City Council leader Lewis Herbert who said even council officers had given up trying to report crime through 101.
People should call 101 to report crime and other concerns that do not require an emergency response, for example if your car has been stolen, your property has been damaged or you suspect drug use or dealing in your neighbourhood.
Detective Superintendent Andy Gipp of Cambridgeshire police said: “The context in which Inspector Johnson made the comments was in respect of reporting minor issues to the constabulary which didn’t present any risk to people or have a time imperative.
“The constabulary continues to provide the best service it can even when the demand for the 101 service is, at times, extraordinarily high.
“We recognise that people do need to wait at peak times and we continue to work to reduce these.
“Recruitment for the centre is ongoing and proving over the last few weeks to be positive.”