The West Yorkshire fuzz have released recordings of nuisance calls requesting a cat be arrested for eating a man's bacon and a complaint about a noisy washing machine, as well as a request to identify the actor in Magnum PI*.
As reported by the Yorkshire Post, a man rang the police to complain about his girlfriend's cat eating his bacon.
The plod are releasing details of that call and several others in a campaign related to a summer upsurge in requests for emergency services.
Tom Donahoe, head of the West Yorkshire force's Customer Contact Centre in Wakefield, said that "Someone rang us at two in the morning to ask us who the actor was that played Magnum PI. It was driving him mad, he was with his friends and couldn’t think of the answer, so he rang the police."
Donahoe added that "The serious point is that a lot of the time we're talking about a matter of seconds between us being able to get to a genuine emergency effectively and not being able to, and therefore having people's lives put at risk."
This is a transcript of the bacon burglary recording, which is available above:
Caller: Me girlfriend has let the cat eat my bacon.
Caller: Me girlfriend let the cat eat me bacon.
Police: Right, okay, what would you like the police do with regards to that, sir?
Caller: Cause I'm [unintelligble].
Police: So you want to beat up your girlfriend because the cat's eaten your bacon?
Caller: Eugh, don't speak to her.
Caller: You what? I want to press charges.
Police: Against who? Your girlfriend or the cat?
Caller: You what love?
Police: Who do you want to press charges against, your girlfriend or the cat?
Caller: Both of them.
Police: Right, sir, it's not a criminal offence to let a cat eat your bacon, OK? And we don't arrest cats. I'm very sorry.
Caller: But she, me girlfriend, allowed the cat to do it.
Police: Right I'm very sorry sir but it's not a 999 emergency 'cause your girlfriend let the cat eat the bacon. I do apologise but it's not a police matter.
The Customer Contact Centre normally receives 1,000 calls a day on the 999 emergency number, but Donahoe said that the rate of calls more than quadrupled to 4,500 calls a day during the summer.
"During the summer we get a lot of alcohol-related calls," Donahoe said. "People aren’t necessarily thinking clearly when they've had a drink or two and if something goes wrong, their first port of call is the police, which can be problematic for us and life-threatening for other people trying to get through."
Austerity may also be partly to blame, as call numbers have recently risen, while council services have been cut back. "For example, we get a lot of calls because someone has struggled to get through to the council about a noise nuisance issue," said Donahoe. "We get quite a lot of those." ®
* Tom Selleck. (Duh.)