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  • london officers- ken high st

    hmmm. i was just walking along ken. high street w/ a very close friend of mine. we see a homeless guy SITTING in the middle of the road, blocking both the traffic and bus lanes. he is asking for money, with his hand held out. traffic sees him at the last minute, and screeches past him.

    so i look at my friend, and ask if i should call the police. he says: "no, don't even bother". i decide to call anyway, b/c the homeless guy is not even 'bumper height', and anyone could miss seeing him, in the dark and rain.

    so i get transfered to the police dept, on my cell. i explain the situation. the guy on the phone confirms my cell number, and my name. i explain the situation again. the operator asks if the guy looks injured. i say "NO". he asks again, i say "NO". He asks again, and again, i say, "NO". the operator asks 'why am i laughing'. i say 'b/c you cannot understand what i am saying'. the operator makes a quick goodbye and hangs up on me.

    i look at my friend, and he says: "i told you not to bother".

    what's wrong here? should i have just left the guy to get flattened by a car??

    i am just curious as to why i was treated as a prank call. and furthermore: (for those unfamiliar w/ me), i was probably a mod b/f you started posting only serious replies, and NO flames please!
    [email protected] "Where there is love, there is no imposition"- Albert Einstien.

  • #2
    I should imagine that they didn't respond to your call because you were laughing at the time.
    I work in central London (Not as far West as Ken High St though) and we get thousand of calls every day. We can only resond to a call if we can understand what the problem is exactly. From what you describe, this guy was not in a life threatening situation (traffic moving slowly in the area etc and no serious crime was being committed. At the time, that nick was probably getting 3 or 4 'I' immediate grade calls for officers to respond to. If you were laughing the operator will have treated your call as a hoax or at best they would have passed it on to the PBO for the area to have a wander down and have a look.
    The artist formerly known as Soho Bandit


    • #3
      Id agree with Soho's opinion exactly...from the cad operator's point of view,he's gotten your call and is trying to ascertain what is happening.You are calling from a mobile phone on a street(possibly a crap signal,lot of backround noise,if you were speaking loudly to make yourself understood it would cause the phone to reverb making it even harder to understand you)and ten you start laughing.Which in turn is going to make the cad operator think that you are basically taking the p**s.
      Now most likely then the call would be assigned as a S call for officers to attend(could a unit do a drive by to the location report of a male in the road).
      I work in East london,in a very busy and violent area,and i'm sorry but the amount of calls we get of a similar vein are tremendous,one tonight of a man calling saying theres someone knocking on his door,he doesnt know what they want can police attend...
      I know every call isnt high risk action adventure etc...but think..officers go to that call(it turned out to be as much rubbish as predicted)and then North of them a robbery came out...and they've got to race back to their old location to try and assist a victim..)
      And dont even get me started about calls about shots fired(then being fireworks!!!)
      I know you called in good faith and i applaud you for that,many would walk by...But bear in mind,theres only so many officers out there,calls will take priority...and if you as the caller start to laugh(picture it from the operators point of view)then what will happen...But to your friend tell him one thing...
      We're doing our best..we dont want thanks...just some understanding sometimes...
      Get your trousers on,you're nicked!!


      • #4
        Just to put things in perspective for you, here are some facts:
        Kensington High Street is covered by Kensington and Chelsea Borough police division. Depending upon the time that you called (presumably soem time during the daytime) there would have been between 8-14 officers on duty.There is probably a minimum manpower requirement of at least 20 officers. Kensington and Chelsea have an area response car (2 officers) a station van (2 officers) at least 2 incident response cars (4 officers) and probably a couple of other cars. This probably leaves a total of zero officers walking about.

        Had your call been accepted (and I dont think that you laughing about it is a reason for us NOT to respond, quite honestly)it would have been classified as a 'soon' response, meaning we would have to respond within 1 hour. It is not unusual, due to the sheer volume of calls, and the lack of manpower, for a 'soon' response call to go unanswered for several hours, sometimes an entire day. I think had other people called this guy in to the police, it would have been realised that maybe this guys life was in danger, and a unit would have been dispatched as an 'immediate' response, and in this day and age (again with manpower constraints etc)an 'immediate' response would by no means be guaranteed. This is a sad and unfortunate fact of life nowadays, and I know from experience, especially where I currently work, that serious assaults, disturbances, robberies and incidents where suspects are still 'on scene' often go unanswered for far too long, purely because there arent enough officers to deal with them.

        I know Kensington and Chelseas division very well, and I know they are extremely busy. I remember calling them to sort out a noisy party once - just a uniformed presence would have been sufficient to shut the errant neighbours up - and I was expecting a bit of professional courtesy. I was informed by the officer in the control room that the police didnt deal with that sort of thing anymore (which is bull$**t, as I do it often where i work) and if I was a police officer, I could sort it out myself, and the phone was put down on me. So there you go. Theres a saying in London about the state of the police force: 'The Job's f**ked' How very true unfortunately.
        'Trust no-one'


        • #5
          I deal a fair bit with complaints like Blondie's and if the report is made via our emergency number, 000, then the job will be attended to, when it will be attended to is another story. However, I would have to say that a report of a drunk and disorderly male person in the middle of a busy road would be given a high priority.

          Reading Blondie's article, I get the impression that there may have been a communication problem and perhaps the urgency of the her request was not fully understood.

          I guess it's got to do on how the report is made and I am reminded of an old story.

          "This man reported to police that a someone had broken into his garden shed and that the offender was still there and could the police come quickly. The operator replied that the police were very busy and it would be at least two hours before they could attend.

          The complainant hung up the phone, thought for a while and phoned the police back. He said to the operator, "Do you remember that burglar that was in my shed, well he is still there and I am going to get my gun and shoot him!!"

          "We will be there straight away", said the operator. [Wink]

          P/S - If I was a Moderator, I would transfer this subject to the International Forum.

          [ 10-31-2002, 06:00 AM: Message edited by: JohnKelly ]


          • #6
            Hey guys, thanks so much for the responses, I appreciate it.

            Well, let me just clear up a couple of things I didn't mention in my post. As far as me laughing goes......I was trying not to, but:

            a) the old geezer really did look a sight, sitting cross- legged in the middle of the road with such a determined expression on his face. Almost as if he was sick of being ignored whilst panhandling on the street; and he was going to sit here in the middle of the road with his arms outstretched....until someone gave him some money, damnit!

            b) the call had gone on for much longer than I wanted it to, and my mate (who was at first content to roll his eyes and make faces) proceeded to mouth the words to 'I love the rain', and do Ian Astbury impressions. So people were beginning to STARE at crazy lady yelling down her cell phone; accompanied by dancing fool.

            Now, if it had been in the daytime, and the old guy was standing in the road....I would never have bothered the police w/ it.

            However, it was very dark (late afternoon), and beginning to rain quite heavily. The guy was wearing dark clothes, and could not be seen very easily, in my opinion. traffic was just moving off from a red light, and I was worried that cars further down the road (and travelling faster), may not have seen him in time.

            I understand it was probably very difficult to hear me (it was quite windy, too), and I think the operator got the impression that I was calling in someone injured, and lying in the road....and me laughing about it. Obviously this wasn't the case.

            I'm very pro- police, and I was mainly annoyed b/c the whole silly incident gave my mate a chance to gloat. but I'm over it now.

            So cheers again for the replies, particularly Urban really did put the whole thing in perspective for me. I know this is a very busy area, and London ain't exactly the easiest city to police. Made me chuckle that you were told to sort out your noise complaint yourself; seeing as you are a Police Officer. That must have been somewhat irksome [Eek!]
            [email protected] "Where there is love, there is no imposition"- Albert Einstien.


            • #7
              If only we had an International Forum. [Wink]


              • #8
                blondie, may i commend your use of the excellent phrase 'somewhat irksome'!!!

                Johnno - this board could really do with an International Forum, dont you think????? [Wink]
                'Trust no-one'


                • #9
                  Please allow me to butt in on your thread with a juvenile message:

                  For those of you who have not seen blondie- she can accurately be described as HOT (or whatever the UK equivalent of 'hot' is).
                  Disclaimer: The writer does not represent any organization, employer, entity or other individual. The first amendment protected views/commentary/opinions/satire expressed are those only of the writer. In the case of a sarcastic, facetious, nonsensical, stirring-the-pot, controversial or devil's advocate-type post, the views expressed may not even reflect those of the writer.


                  • #10
                    Junno wot, this could be in an 'international forum' if we had one, that's what I reckon anyway.
                    Brickcop; cheers for the tip mate.
                    The artist formerly known as Soho Bandit


                    • #11
                      I have to say, that these constant veiled references to 'international forum' seem intended as a call to an uprising on this American forum.

                      So in keeping with the best traditions of my Cherokee nation, and because we did it in the past too, I for one am throwing in with the British and Ozzie Coppers, against the Americans! [Eek!]

                      SHOOTER, I know you'r Cherokee too, so are you in?

                      Jim Burnes


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by BRICKCOP:
                        Please allow me to butt in on your thread with a juvenile message:

                        For those of you who have not seen blondie- she can accurately be described as HOT (or whatever the UK equivalent of 'hot' is).

                        In Oz we would therefore describe Blondie as a "good looking sheila"


                        • #13
                          Oh thank- you for the compliment, BRICKCOP <blush> [Wink]

                          Yeah, I'm all for an International Police Forum! I know there have been at least a couple of topics that I wanted to post, but didn't bother....because I felt there would be a lack of interest.

                          I do think that it would encourage more participation from Officers worldwide. But please make it open to civilians, too!

                          I'm glad we have Jim Burnes on OUR side....
                          [email protected] "Where there is love, there is no imposition"- Albert Einstien.


                          • #14
                            Y'know i certainly must agree...if this was ever a perfect question for a international forum...

                            Also i must apologise for my post to blondies question,looking back it was quite a flippant answer...i must cite tiredness and also running from one place to the other these past few nights...the amount of hoax calls were insane.
                            Get your trousers on,you're nicked!!


                            • #15
                              Oh, no need for apologies, mate! you didn't sound flippant.

                              I don't think I explained myself very well in my initial post, anyhow.
                              [email protected] "Where there is love, there is no imposition"- Albert Einstien.


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