999 call over 'large poisonous spider' that turned out to be fluff
Published 19/01/2016 | 10:31
A woman phoned the police to report that there was a large poisonous spider in her home preventing her from leaving.
She had just had some furniture delivered and believed the eight legged creature might have travelled in a crate from overseas and ended up in her home in Wiltshire.
An officer went out to her house - but upon investigating, the large poisonous spider turned out in fact to be a piece of fluff under the kitchen door.
Details of the call were released by Wiltshire Police as part of a week-long campaign to highlight the inappropriate use of the 999 and 101 numbers.
Other calls included a homeless man who rang police after he had been given a sandwich and was worried someone was trying to poison him because the packet had been slightly opened, so wanted an officer to test it.
And a woman rang the force worried that she could not turn her broken tap off and was overflowing. She was advised to take the plug out and call a plumber.
Dominic Taylor, a senior crime recording operator for the force, said: "I once took a call from a man who was lost in some woods.
"He was on his way home from a night out and was scared that a badger was going to attack him - the joys of alcohol.
"He was in the dark and couldn't see anything useful to help me locate him. I reassured him he was unlikely to get attacked by a badger.
"During the call he advised me he was very cold, so I suggested that he run to keep himself warm. He started to run and even asked me for permission to stop because he was tired.
"I managed to direct the caller to some houses and found where he was using maps and by checking the address listed on vehicle registrations.
"The caller was very relieved when he got home and very thankful for my help. Most importantly, he got home without a single badger attack."
Jess Hamilton, 26, a crime recording operator, said: "I recently took a call from someone who was out rollerblading at night.
"The caller said they had come across a steep hill that they couldn't rollerblade up and wanted an officer to come and pick them up.
"I ascertained that the caller was not very far from home and suggested that she contact a friend or a family member to pick her up instead."
A force spokeswoman said: "The campaign aims to educate the public about the appropriate use of the 101 and 999 numbers, reduce demand on the crime and communication centre and highlight the excellent work of our call handlers who are often under extremely difficult circumstances."