Wednesday 22 November 2017

Listen: Man rings 999 after seagull tries to steal sandwich

'One of them seagulls basically tried to rip the sandwich out of my hand': Avon and Somerset Police release 'emergency' call made by Bristol man

Danny Boyle

A man got into a flap when a seagull tried to steal his sandwich - before phoning 999 to report a thief.

The Bristol time-waster has been criticised by police for calling the emergency number on Tuesday.

In a recording released by Avon and Somerset Police, he is heard to explain the incident to a patient call-handler before urging officers to review CCTV footage.

Describing the "emergency", the man tells the operator: "Hello. Right, I'm outside McDonald's in the centre of Bristol, right.

"I just walked out of Sainsbury's towards McDonald's right, and one of them seagulls basically tried to rip the sandwich out of my hand. If you look on the camera..."

The female call-handler politely interrupts the man and says: "OK, hold on a second. What's this got to do with the police? It's a seagull."

The man, begins to protest, but then terminates the "emergency" call. It comes after a series of incidents, including a pet dog pecked to death by a seagull, that led Prime Minister David Cameron to call for a "big conversation" about the "murderous" animals.

 Police later released the recording after a series of time-wasters all rang the emergency number on the same day.

One woman phoned to complain that the owner of a guesthouse she was staying in was refusing to cook breakfast.

A third person phoned to say his seatbelt in a taxi was too tight, while a fourth moaned that his fish and chips were too expensive.

Another 999 caller later rang asking if it was illegal for a shop to refuse a voucher he had printed from the internet.

The force said by early afternoon on Tuesday it had received 244 calls to the 999 number and 25 - around 10 per cent - were "inappropriate".

Earlier, another officer tweeted about a call from someone who complained about being splashed by a puddle.

A force spokesman said: "These 999 calls may seem funny but they could be blocking a real emergency and that is deadly serious."

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