Leicester

Leicestershire Police receive missing parrot 999 call

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Media captionLeicestershire Police releases examples of "inappropriate" 999 calls from the public

A man called 999 to report his parrot had gone missing, Leicestershire Police has revealed.

The call was one of a number of "inappropriate" calls which put lives at risk by diverting resources away from real emergencies, the force said.

Other calls included someone asking for a lighter, while another caller reported their neighbour's pool had not been emptied.

Police said 999 should only be dialled in a genuine emergency.

"My parrot's gone missing right and that's not an emergency?," one caller said.

Another anonymous caller said: "They've taken my lighter, when I want to smoke, I've got to smoke."

The call handler asked: "What's the emergency then?"

The man replied: "I need a lighter."

Supt Jez Cottrill said: "We strive to ensure the effective and efficient use of our resources at all times.

"Prank, hoax and inappropriate calls take vital resources away from the vulnerable and those in dire need of assistance or protection.

"On some days of high demand, we are unable to answer all emergency calls due to nuisance callers; this is genuinely putting lives at risk."

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