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News : Man Places Call to Police to Ask What's in His Burger
June 25, 2014 -- It's pretty obvious to most people that wanting to know the ingredients of your McDonald's doesn't constitute an emergency.
But one 999 caller appeared not to have that conventional wisdom as he phoned an operator at West Midlands Police asking for culinary advice.
The force has released the audio of the call to reveal to the public the kind of nuisance calls they receive.
During the clip the man can be heard asking the emergency call operator to put him through to Bilston Police Station in Wolverhampton.
After a lengthy argument with the operator over his refusal to "do him a favour" and transfer him to the "cop shop", the rambling caller eventually reveals the true nature of his emergency.
He can be heard saying: "I am at McDonalds yeah, I'm asking for ingredients on the meal I'm eating...."
The 999 call handler then interjects and says: "This is not a 999 emergency." before the man replies "Yes it is though."
The operator tells the man: "You needing to get ingredients in the things you are eating in McDonalds is not an emergency."
At this point the message seemingly gets through to the caller and he replies: "Is it not? Okey dokey."
The man then ends the conversation with an expletive, before the patient operator says: "Don't speak to me like that, please."
It is the second food related 999 call the force has released recently after a woman phoned earlier in the year to complain about topping on her ice cream.
Chief Superintendent Jim Andronov, head of the force's Contact Centre, warned time-wasters that their calls could cost lives.
He added: "Typically West Midlands Police receive over 1500 calls a day to the 999 number and our operatives have to deal with each one accordingly.
"Of these, some 10 to 20 per cent are not police matters and around 50 per cent are non-emergency calls where contact is appropriate via the 101 number.
"As well as the bizarre calls police also receive deliberate hoax calls which take up vital time.
"It's astonishing listening to them but they hide a serious truth.
"Each call often takes minutes to deal with as staff have to clarify the situation - it might not sound like much but, if someone is trying to get through to report a genuine life or death emergency, then a minute is a very long time to wait.
"I cannot stress enough that the 999 number is for emergencies only, for guidance this is defined as: a crime is in progress, someone suspected of a crime is nearby, when there is danger to life or when violence is being used or threatened.
"We do not want to discourage people from contacting the police so for any other reason call 101."
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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More Editorial From West Midlands Police
About West Midlands Police:
West Midlands Police is the territorial police force responsible for policing the metropolitan county of West Midlands in England.
Published: Monday, June 30, 2014