Woman dials 999 because sprinkles were spread unevenly on her ice cream
'It doesn’t seem like much of an emergency but it is,' police operator told
Saturday 07 June 2014
A woman in Birmingham called 999 because there were not enough sprinkles on her ice cream, telling an operator “it doesn’t seem like much of an emergency but it is”.
In a recording of the call made last week, the woman is heard saying: “I’m at an ice cream van and I’ve ordered an ice cream, yeah.
“The person has basically given me an ice cream and he’s put bits on one side and none on the other and I’ve said can you that properly please and he’s like, no.”
The caller said she was at the van arguing with the vendor, who refused to give her money back.
Reminding the woman that 999 was a “life-and-death emergency line”, the operator calmly said it was not a police matter and directed her to Trading Standards or the Citizens’ Advice Bureau.
Police in the West Midlands released the recording with a plea for people to use 999 for genuine emergencies only.
Chief Superintendent Jim Andronov, head of the force’s contact centre, said West Midlands Police get more than 1,500 calls a day to the number and between 10 and 20 per cent are not matters for the police.
Around half are non-emergency calls that should have been directed to 101 instead.
“As well as the bizarre calls police also receive deliberate hoax calls which take up vital time,” he said.
“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.”
A 999 emergency is defined as a crime in progress, a sighting of a wanted suspect, when violence is being used or threatened and danger to life.
- 1 The truth about 'girl things': Three cheers for Heather Watson's honesty
- 2 Man who held up 'hire me' sign at Waterloo station returns a year later with 'I'm hiring' sign
- 5 Men behaving badly: Urinating while standing, 'manspreading' and the gendering of selfishness
Man who held up 'hire me' sign at Waterloo station returns a year later with 'I'm hiring' sign
UK weather: Snow to fall during coming week with sub-zero temperatures to last until early February
Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign
Ellen DeGeneres leads Johnny Depp, Gwyneth Paltrow and Paul Bettany in revealing game of Never Have I Ever
Nigel Farage: NHS might have to be replaced by private health insurance
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
George Galloway condemns 'racist, Islamophobic, hypocritical rag' Charlie Hebdo at freedom of speech rally
Islamic history is full of free thinkers - but recent attempts to suppress critical thought are verging on the absurd
Excellent Salary : Austen Lloyd: OXFORD - REGIONAL FIRM - An excellent opportu...
Super Package: Austen Lloyd: BRISTOL - SENIOR CLINICAL NEGLIGENCE - An outstan...
£15000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Fantastic opportunities are ava...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Compute Engineer is required to join a globa...