Man calls 999 to complain that Sports Direct won't return his trainers

A man called Cleveland Police on 999 to report an argument he was having over trainers he had recently bought and police are using this as an example of abusing the service.

Tuesday, 22nd October 2019, 1:48 pm
Updated Wednesday, 23rd October 2019, 10:05 am

Cleveland Police have released a 999 call where a man abuses the emergency call line to report an argument over some new trainers he had bought.

The man had called the emergency number and reported not being able to return his new trainers to a local sports shop. He said: “I only got them on Thursday. I only wore them for about two hours.”

The officer on the phone had to stop the man to remind him that 999 is to report emergencies only.

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The man called 999 to complain he was unable to return his trainers to Sports Direct
The man called 999 to complain he was unable to return his trainers to Sports Direct

Cleveland Police staff are using this among many other instances to highlight the inappropriate use of 999 during International Control Room Week.

On average, the Force receives 335 emergency calls on the 999 line each day but some of those calls are an inappropriate use of the 999 system.

International Control Room Week launched on Monday, October 21.

The week raises awareness for the life-saving and life-changing work which officers deal with on a daily basis.

In March this year, call taker Kathryn Longstaff was praised after she dispatched emergency services to a man who was only able to communicate through tapping, due to a medical condition he was suffering from.

The call talker knew that something was wrong and asked the man a series of questions which enabled her to confirm that he was in danger and needed urgent assistance. The man’s life was saved due to her quick-thinking actions.

Superintendent Emily Harrison, leading the Cleveland Police Control Room, said: “Their work is often life-saving and I would like to thank our staff in the Force Control Room for their amazing hard work and dedication to helping people.

“Unfortunately, we also often see people inappropriately using the 999 system, which shows misunderstanding on their part.

“It is important for us to highlight the inappropriate use of the 999 system, so that we can go as far as possible to ensure that people who are in genuine need of our help can get through to us in an emergency.”