Time-wasters report dead squirrel and late parcels to police

Squirrel worries
Squirrel worries
0
Have your say

People called the police to report a dead squirrel and parcel delivery complaints as the force reports a rise in the number of time-wasting calls it received last summer.

Warwickshire Police has released details of the calls received on its non-emergency 101 number - which include worry over a horizontal squirrel and a cry for help after someone got their finger stuck in a bottle.

Last summer Warwickshire Police and West Mercia Police received the highest number of calls to 999 and 101 with over 5,000 calls being answered in July 2014.

On average Warwickshire Police received a call every 2 minutes.

One caller rang the emergency service to express concern about a squirrel lying on the ground in a park which they feared may be dead. They called police after being unsure of who to contact.

Examples of non-emergency calls released by the joint force include:

Police

Police

“There’s a squirrel lying on the ground”

“My parcel hasn’t been delivered”

“My neighbour’s washing machine is too loud”

“My finger is stuck in a bottle”

A common misconception is that the police can intervene for issues of noise nuisances such as a dog barking or for graffiti removal from a public area

Chief Superintendent Steve Cullen

Chief Superintendent Steve Cullen said while the majority of calls are legitimate cries for help over minor traffic collisions, stolen vehicles, or damaged property, there has been an increase in people seeking help with birds and animals, parcel deliveries, salary payment delays and noisy neighbours.

He said: “A common misconception is that the police can intervene for issues of noise nuisances such as a dog barking or for graffiti removal from a public area.

But our powers do not cover these matters and people need to contact their council.

“The 101 number provides a vital service for people to contact us for non-emergency matters, but using it inappropriately detracts from all the cases where people genuinely need our help.

“Every call takes time to answer and properly assess for our response. For every misdirected call we receive, people who do require a police response may have to wait longer to have their call answered at the busiest times.”

The non-emegency 101 number is designed for reporting crime which is not still taking place, with the 999 number retained for reporting serious and immediate danger for instant help.