Advert urging people not to dial 999 if they hear a baby or child crying is banned

Surrey Police said it was "really disappointed" the Advertising Standards Authority has banned a TV ad that urged people NOT to dial 999 if they hear a baby or child crying.

The authority said it had found against the force in relation to a single complaint about one video within the Policing Matters campaign - writes

We are naturally really disappointed by the Council's decision which contradicts their own investigator's findings and the independent evaluation the Force commissioned which showed high public understanding of the deliberate juxtapositions of the campaign.

Surrey Police has made sustained efforts to increase both awareness of, and confidence to report child abuse.

This particular campaign is centred around helping educate the public about what is and isn't a policing matter.

Clearly child abuse is, whereas children just being noisy isn't.

We need to ensure that the public is contacting us about concerns for safety but knows that general noise complaints are better dealt with by local authorities so that police time isn't wasted and we can instead use that time to keep people safe and investigate crime.


Surrey Police said it has removed the video and will be reviewing its approach in light of the ASA finding.

But it added the the advert had been checked and cleared by Clearcast, who are responsible for ensuring it meets the requirements set out in the UK Broadcast Advertising Code, prior to its broadcast.

The ad, which featured a youngster crying, urged people with "noisy neighbours" to contact their local council, rather than call the police.

But a viewer complained to watchdogs that noise from children could be due to them being in a "harmful situation",

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