Police urge people to ‘think’ after father rang because his daughter was stuck in a coat

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A senior officer called for people to “think” before contacting them after receiving multiple calls where emergency help has really not been needed. Deputy Chief Constable Vanessa Jardine tweeted about the daft call to her 3,900 followers.

She wrote: “There was a genuine 101 to [West Midlands Police] today from a man calling as his daughter was ‘stuck’ in a new coat she had bought.

“This may seem like a funny tweet but whilst our staff were on the phone to this person they could not take a genuine emergency call.”

She ended the post with the hashtag “thinkbeforeyoucall”. The tweet received hundreds of likes and tons of comments.

Many poked fun at the silliness with one writing: “Constable Parka was sent to deal with the situation.”

Another joked: “This could have been picked up by Neighbour-hood watch.”

And one person even called for there to be a national “general panic number” for anyone who is in a fluster and doesn’t know what to do.

Many, however, asked why calling the non-emergency number 101 impacted the emergency phone line.

One person tweeted: “But 101 is a NON Emergency call line, why don’t you separate the systems if it’s making emergency calls wait?”

Another commented: “Fully appreciate that this is not a call that should be made to police. But let’s be clear that people ringing 101 in an emergency would also be doing so inappropriately – that’s what 999 is for.”

A 999 call handler commented on the post to say she once had someone ring up because she could not find her BBQ.

She tweeted: “I had a lady ring 999 once because she couldn’t find B&Q. She got short shrift and told to ask a passer-by. She couldn’t see the issue.”

West Midlands Police told the BBC: “We receive a significant number of emergency and non-emergency calls which turn out to not be police matters or don’t require a police response.

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“If you are reporting a non-emergency matter our advice is always – if it’s not 999 then go online for advice, and the ability to ‘live chat’ with our staff.”

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