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A woman from Chatham has called 999 during the snow - to report something missing from her garden
Kent Police are issuing a warning to people not to abuse the 999 system after a woman rang the emergency number to report the theft of ……… a snowman.
The force has received more than 8,000 general and 999 calls in 48 hours, double the number it normally receives.
The woman, from Chatham, rang in to say she had just looked outside her house and noticed that the snowman had gone.
“This call could have cost someone’s life if there was a genuine emergency and they couldn’t get through. It was completely irresponsible”, said Chief Inspector Simon Black from Kent Police’s Force Contact and Control Centre.
“We have spoken to her and advised her what is a 999 call, and this clearly was not.”
Click here to listen to the call
In the call the woman tells the operator :
“There’s been a theft from outside my house. I haven’t been out to check on him for five hours but I went outside for a fag and he’s gone.”
The operator says “Who’s gone” and the woman replies “My snowman. I thought that with it being icy and there not being anybody about he’d be safe.”
The incredulous operator says “Do you mean an ornament “ and the woman says “No a snowman made of snow, I made him myself”
“It ain’t a nice road but you don’t expect anybody to nick your snowman.”
The operator then tells her that it is an emergency line and she should not be ringing it to report the theft of a snowman.
Chief Inspector Black said “We do have powers to prosecute people for misusing the 999 system, but in this case the woman genuinely thought this was a theft that she should report it because she’d used pound coins for the eyes and teaspoons for the arms.”