Police hunt mystery rapper's hoax 999 calls

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The Independent Online

With suspected rapists and attempted murderers among some of Greater Manchester Police's most wanted criminals, a hoax caller would not usually rank very highly when it comes to hunting down fugitives.

But this is no ordinary hoax caller. Yesterday the force announced that they need the public's help in catching a nuisance caller who has telephoned the 999 emergency number more than 3,000 times to sing rap songs to the call handlers.

The unknown rapper, who also preaches and prays during the calls, has been ringing up to ten times a day since January 2009.

It has cost the force an estimated £1,000 a month to deal with his relentless calls and they say the time they have to spend listening to him means that other emergency calls are not being answered as quickly.

In the past three months alone he has called the force 715 times. The call handlers are obliged to listen for at least two to three minutes before hanging-up incase the man does make an emergency request.

Police have attempted to frustrate him by identifying and blocking at least 60 mobile phone sim cards, but he has simply bought new unregistered phones and continued.

Superintendent Karan Lee, who is Greater Manchester Police’s head of call handling, said: "Despite numerous attempts to block the phones he has been using, this man continues to call 999 to make his inappropriate outbursts.

"I would hope he does not do this out of malice because he is putting lives at risk. At busy times, the line can be blocked by his calls which mean people with a genuine emergency cannot get through.

"We feel incredibly frustrated when this happens, because we are constantly striving to provide the best possible service to the people of Greater Manchester."

Working with mobile phone operators, police have managed to establish that the man, who has a heavy Jamaican accent, has made most of his calls from the Moss Side or Old Trafford Areas. During one of the calls, released yesterday by GMP in a hope that someone may recognise the man’s voice, he appears to shout out the postcodes of those areas.

The three audio clips released yesterday amount to about nine minutes of rapping and chanting. One is a particularly amusing rap sung in Jamaican patois which includes the lyrics: "Who makes the decision / You or me / Who makes the decision / Mummy and daddy."

But Supt Lee added: "Nuisance calls are no laughing matter. I do not know what motivates this man has to keep calling, but it is not funny when we cannot respond to a real emergency and if anyone does know who is responsible, I would urge them in the strongest possible terms to come forward. We need to stop this man’s time-wasting calls before someone’s life is put in jeopardy."

“Many hoax callers simply do not understand the severity of their actions. If they make a serious allegation, such as someone's life being at risk, an elderly person in need of desperate help or a body in the canal, we quickly deploy a lot of resources to the scene.

"Often that involves the use of full emergency equipment. If the call is false, and the result of some sort of malicious hoax, then those officers are tied up and they cannot attend genuine emergencies where people’s lives really are at risk."

Despite having narrowed him down to a local region of the city, the police have still been unable to identify the man, who calls at all hours of the day and night.

Call Handling manager Jason Unsworth said: "You can never guess when this man is going to call up, and that’s part of the problem. With the World Cup on at the moment, it's an added pressure when he does call, because it can be literally any time of the day, and he can be on the phone for several minutes.

"He is causing us a big problem because of the sheer volume of calls he makes and the time wasted dealing with him. We have to treat each call as if it was a real emergency, so it's frustrating and worrying when we get time-wasters preventing people with real emergencies coming through."

Click on the links below to hear some of the mystery rapper's efforts:

Call 1

Call 2

Call 3