Shop worker calls 999 over knife­man – and she’s told it’s not an emer­gency

Daily Mail - - News - By Andy Dolan

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.

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