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Cambs cops podcast 999 timewasters

'I can't find Homebase and I'm very distressed'

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Cambridgeshire police have come over all Web 2.0 and decided to podcast a selection of entertaining "non" 999 calls in an effort to "curb the number of nuisance calls the police receive".

You can find the offending pleas for asistance right here. Among the winning line-up is someone asking "What's today's date?" and the harrowing recording of a poor soul who can't find Homebase.

The operator in the latter case shows admirable restraint, and restricts herself to pointing out that mislaying a DIY superstore is "not really a 999 call, it's not a life-and-death emergency, is it?"

Chief inspector Mike Winters explains: "We wouldn't just simply put the phone down without engaging in conversation. We have to explore the reasons for the call to make an assessment about how genuine it is.

"However we will have to get stricter in pointing out that people should be ringing the non-emergency number in the majority of occasions, not 999." ®

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