News : West Midlands Police Release their Most Bizarre Emergency Calls
Birmingham, UK, July 3, 2015 -- "There’s a lizard on my lawn", "my neighbour’s washing machine is too loud" and "my finger is stuck in a bottle" are just three of the dilemmas that prompted people to call the police.
The unusual comments were all genuine calls to West Midlands Police’s 101 non-emergency hotline and have been released as the force prepares to enter its busiest period for call centre demand.
July has recorded the highest monthly tally of 101 calls in each of the last three years with anti-social behaviour, rowdy summer parties, domestic abuse and alcohol-related incidents keeping cops busy.
Among the genuine calls for service, police call handlers field hundreds of inappropriate questions or demands from members of the public.
In the last month alone, 101 advisors have taken calls from people about a peacock had strayed into their garden, parcel delivery complaints and salary payment delays, as well as a request for an out-of-hours number for the Indian Embassy and even a query about the length of time between red and amber traffic lights.
West Midlands Police will be issuing a selection of audio from their 101 calls throughout July, with the first being the story of a lizard on the lawn captured in Solihull.
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"It’s an amusing call – the man initially suggests it’s a 12-foot lizard on the loose, which would have been a police matter, but quickly corrects himself by confirming it was 12 inches in length.
"The call handler is very courteous, shares a joke with the man and ultimately suggests he asks neighbours or contacts the local RSPCA office.
"But on a serious note matters like this are clearly not police incidents. Similarly the police do not have powers to prosecute for noise nuisance – including noisy washing machines – or for removing graffiti, both of which are council issues.
"A quick internet search, or using sites like Ask the Police, would quickly clear up confusion like this and keep our call centres free to deal with more pressing matters."
– Chief Supt Jim Andronov, head of force contact
Examples of the proper use of 101 include reporting a car as stolen, damaged property or anyone suspecting drug dealing in their neighbourhood.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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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, July 6, 2015
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