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Think before you call Police warns @WMPolice

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“There’s a lizard on my lawn”, “my neighbour’s washing machine is too loud”, and “my finger is stuck in a bottle” − just three of the latest ‘dilemmas’ that have prompted people to call the police 101 number!
West Midlands Police has issued a timely reminder over what warrants a call to the 101 non-emergency hotline as the force enters its busiest period for call centre demand.

July has recorded the highest monthly tally of 101 calls in each of the last three years with anti-social behaviour, rowdy summer parties, domestic abuse, and alcohol related incidents keeping cops busy.

But among the genuine calls for service West Midlands Police phone staff field hundreds of inappropriate questions or demands from members of the public.

In the last month alone 101 advisors have taken calls from people about injured birds, parcel delivery complaints, and salary payment delays, plus general requests for phone numbers and even a query about the length of time between red and amber traffic lights!

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 around 11,500 more 101 calls made last July compared to June and 16,000 more compared to August…statistics illustrating the July spike in demand.

Examples of the proper use of 101 include reporting a car as stolen, damaged property, or anyone suspecting drug dealing in their neighbourhood.

But last month 101 was used by someone to report that a peacock had strayed into their garden, another asking for an out-of-hours number for the Indian Embassy, while another caller was asking about travel documents for children.

West Midlands Police will be issuing a selection of 101 audio during July to highlight some of the inappropriate calls, starting with the story of a Lizard on the Lawn captured in Solihull!
Chief Supt Andronov, added: “It’s an amusing call…the man initially suggests it’s a 12-foot lizard on the loose, which would have been a police matter, but quickly corrects himself by confirming it was 12-inches in length.

“The call handler is very courteous, shares a joke with the man, and ultimately suggests he asks neighbours or contacts the local RSPCA office. But on a serious note matters like this are clearly not police incidents.

“Similarly the police do not have powers to prosecute for noise nuisance − including noisy washing machines − or for removing graffiti, both of which are council issues.

“A quick internet search, or using sites like Ask the Police, would quickly clear up confusion like this and keep our call centres free to deal with more pressing matters.”

The pressure on call centres is further exacerbated by calls about payment of fines, penalty notices and road traffic collision investigation − none of which are dealt with by Force Contact but instead by West Midlands Police’s Traffic Process Office.

Motorists don’t have to spend time calling 101 to get through to these departments: they both have dedicated email addresses.

The Central Ticket Office handles fines, fixed penalty notices and speeding offences and can be contacted via email [email protected]
And the Traffic Process Office − [email protected] − deals with minor traffic collisions and allegations of poor driving standards.

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Verne Troyer has tragically died aged just 49

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Verne Troyer who was know for his role in Mini-Me within the Austin Powers films has tragically died today.

Verne had made it public that he was struggling with alcoholism & depression leading up to his death.

On April 3rd Verne was rushed to hospital following suspected alcohol poisoning. A friend contacted police after a call from Verne who appeared to be very upset, drunk and feeling suicidal.

His agent has released a statement requesting thoughts and prayers for Verne at a difficult time.

“Asking you to keep Verne in your thoughts and prayers. He’s getting the best care possible and is resting comfortably.

“Appreciate the support from family, friends, and fans around the world. We will keep you updated here.”

Our thoughts are with the family and friends of Verne.

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Cops catch gang of criminals leaving Hartlepool in stolen cars

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Recently in Hartlepool there has been an increase in criminals targeting Ford Fiesta cars, because criminals have a device that gets them into the car without the need for a key.

Over recent months up to Three Fiesta at a time have been going missing.

This morning the gang was at it again but this tome they didn’t count on the CDSOU A Relief who this morning recovered not 1; not 2 but 3 Stolen Ford Fiesta motor cars all attempting to leave Hartlepool containing suspected travelling criminals.

Police said “One of the vehicles unfortunately lost control and crashed while the other 2 vehicles had their front tyres stung and limped to a stop with one of the vehicle’s going the wrong way onto the A19 which was stopped by an unmarked vehicle. The driver was detained after a short foot chase and with the assistance of dog section 2 more males were also detained from another vehicle.

“Offences these males were arrested on suspicion of were theft of motor vehicle; drink driving; drug driving; dangerous driving; fail to stop for Police; no insurance and no licence.”

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TV Presenter Dale Winton Dies Aged 62

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Dale Winton who was best known for his game show Supermarket Sweep and In It To Win it has tragically died aged 62z

His agent has this evening confirmed the very sad news that Winton has lost his life.

No further details around Winton’s death have been released and it is requested that his family are offered privacy at this very tragic time.

His long-term agent Jan Kennedy said:

It is with great sadness that we can confirm the passing of Dale Winton who died at home earlier today.

While we know many will share this terrible loss, we ask that you respect the family’s privacy at this time of grief.

A number of tributes have been left on Twitter

Winton started his career as a DJ in London and he was soon hosting his own show on local radio.

This lead Winton to joining the BBC Bristol to present Pet Watch for BBC One.

Over the years he also worked for Channel 4 ITV and on BBC One’s national lottery show.

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