The Chatham-Kent Police Service recently released its list of top silly calls they received over the last year.
According to police officials, the service releases this information to reinforce the importance of calling them when you see crime taking place, or suspicious activity or have concerns that something may be criminal in nature.
“This list clearly demonstrates that when people don’t know who to call, they call the police,” Const. Renee Cowell said in a release. “We are asked to wear many hats during a shift, like landlord, referee, 411 operator, just to name a few.”
Here are the top-10 silly calls for 2016, in reverse order.
- Police officers are trained to have knowledge on a variety of subjects.
One of them, however, is not who delivers the London Free Press in specific neighbourhoods.
Judging by the number of phone calls The Chatham Voice receives each week in regards to flyer delivery by the company that owns the Free Press, we at this newspaper understand how the police can get frustrated by receiving calls that have nothing to do with them. We do, however, happily give out contact information, but it is not our fault if you wind up in voicemail limbo.
- People who call 911 really need to give as much information as possible, and the people who take down the information need to as well. Police say a caller notified emergency communication personnel that his wife’s purse had been stolen.
But there was one problem. The call taker left out the word “purse.” This caused a lot of concern for those who read that the caller’s “wife” had been stolen over an hour ago.
- The police assist a lot of people over the course of a year, but they can’t do everything.
Someone inquired whether police could help with the temperature in his apartment, and forwarded a photo of his thermostat via social media.
- Another issue police could not help with this past year occurred when a woman called 911 distressed that the only channels coming in over her cable TV was French.
She doesn’t speak it.
- Police had to be sent to a residence to settle a heated dispute between two neighbours over the ownership of a jar of peanut butter.
No word on what happened to the jam.
- Just as a call to the police can’t get you the answer on newspaper delivery specifics, such a call won’t help you with specific phone numbers either.
Police say someone likely confused 911 with 411 after the communications centre received an emergency call for the phone number of the local Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant.
- Police aren’t lawyers or paralegals. One woman called 911 to ask if it was legal to trap squirrels that were in her backyard and take them to a nearby farmer’s field.
No word on how she planned to keep them in that field.
- Most good criminals have a plan. And that usually involves making sure there is no one around to witness your crime.
So when this thief broke into his neighbour’s apartment, he certainly didn’t expect to see the tenant standing there holding a baseball bat. The only thing he could do was high-tail it out of there. Oh, and during his hasty retreat, he lost a boot.
No worries; he sent his girlfriend back to retrieve it.
- This past summer, police say officers pursued a man following a commercial break-in. During the foot chase, the man started throwing away property, something police see quite often.
What they do not often see, however, is pink urinal cakes. That’s what they say the man was discarding as he tried to flee police.
Once apprehended, the man said he only used the cakes as hockey pucks.
- Topping the list this year is the case of concerned friends. Police say a Chatham woman posted “He’s trying to kill me” on social media, and after they couldn’t reach the woman, they contacted the cops.
Officers were dispatched to check on her well-being. They found her safe and sound, but more than a little embarrassed.
It seems the Facebook post related to her husband’s rather smelly farts.
Cowell said obviously police have some more public education effort ahead of them.
“We will continue to educate citizens on the importance of calling of 911 and more specifically what instances should be considered an emergency,” she said. “There are times when our non-emergency number should be used instead.”