Friday 23 February 2018

Police called about stray peacock

Someone called the police 101 number to report a stray peacock in their garden
Someone called the police 101 number to report a stray peacock in their garden

A report of a peacock straying into a back garden and a query about the delay between red and amber traffic lights are just two of the "spurious" calls a police force has received.

With July historically the busiest month for calls to their non-emergency 101 line, West Midlands Police have released details of some of the more trivial reports, in a bid to put a stop to them.

Parcel delivery complaints, delays in getting paid and a lizard on someone's lawn all feature in a lengthy list of calls which officers say are wasting valuable time and preventing them dealing with real crime.

One person dialled 101 to complain that their finger was stuck in a bottle, while another rang to ask for a number for the Indian Embassy.

The helpline was introduced to take calls on crimes which are not emergencies, such as car thefts, property damage or to report suspected drug dealing in the local area.

While the number can also be used to make general enquiries to the police, the force said they are not there to be treated as a directory service.

Head of force contact Chief Superintendent Jim Andronov said: "The 101 number provides a vital service for people to contact us for non-emergency matters - but some people treat it as a general directory service.

"We take literally hundreds of spurious calls a month ... these take up valuable police time and delay us dealing with genuine police matters. Many of the queries could be resolved with a simple internet search so our message is: think before you call."

There were thousands more calls to the 101 line last July compared to the months either side, the force said.

Press Association

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