Shop worker calls 999 over knifeman – and she’s told it’s not an emergency
A SHOP assistant who dialled 999 after being threatened by an armed robber was told to ring back on the non-emergency 101 number instead.
She had called police after the hooded knifeman threatened to stab her if she stopped him escaping.
She believed he had carried out an identical raid on her city centre offlicence the week before.
Her brother, who also works in the family store, yesterday condemned police for failing to take the crime seriously.
‘When my sister rang 999 he was still outside the store,’ he said, choosing not to be identified. ‘If they’d sent officers there and then they might well have found him in one of the neighbouring streets and it would have been one more knife out of circulation.
‘I couldn’t believe it when they told her she’d have to dial 101. How much more serious can a crime get than armed robbery?’
Two hours after his sister, who was alone, dialled 101 an officer arrived at the store in Leicester. The robber was long gone.
Police say emergency operators had decided the incident did not require an immediate response because the call came in after the robber had fled.
The shop assistant’s brother said that in both raids the suspect had showed a blade and warned her: ‘I will stab you if you try to stop me.’ The first incident came on June 1 and the second on June 6.
The suspect escaped with bottles of alcohol each time.
The brother added: ‘Within 24 hours of me putting his image on
‘I will stab you if you stop me’
Facebook I have had people contact me with the suspect’s name. But what have the police done?
‘This is a quiet area and things like this don’t happen here and then this happens. This man thinks he can do this in broad daylight. He’s obviously dangerous and he needs to be caught.’
A spokesman for Leicestershire Police said: ‘As the suspect had left the scene prior to the call being made, and the threat of harm minimised, it was determined this didn’t require an immediate response, and the caller was asked to call back on 101.
‘The emergency number has to be prioritised and kept available for reports of crime in action or where there is a high risk or threat to life. At the time this call came in, we were taking an emergency 999 call every 3 minutes. The report was made to 101, and officers attended the store within two hours. No arrests have been made at this time.’
In 2015, the force was criticised after it admitted running a threemonth pilot scheme where forensic officers were sent only to burglary reported at properties with even numbers.
Any scene involving a vulnerable victim, or which was believed to be part of a series of crimes, was still visited by forensic officers. The 101 police number was introduced in 2011 and 2012.