'Get that infernal machine out of the sky': Londoner dials 999 to complain helicopter hunting missing woman woke him up

9 July 2023, 09:19 | Updated: 9 July 2023, 10:37

The caller demanded the police take down the helicopter
The caller demanded the police take down the helicopter. Picture: Alamy/Getty

By Kit Heren

An entitled Londoner called 999 to demand that the police take down a helicopter searching for a missing woman at night, because it woke him up.

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Police released the recording of the conversation to urge people to think about whether they need to call 999, the emergency number, or 101, for less urgent enquiries.

During the call, the unnamed man tells the emergency operator: "It's two o'clock in the morning and at the moment there's a very noisy helicopter shining a beam of light virtually above where I live.

"And it's awakened me. It's awakened me. This is utterly ridiculous and outrageous."

The operator can be heard to reply: "This isn't a life and death emergency. Call 101."

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The caller says: "You get that infernal machine out of the skies so that I can get some sleep."

The operator retorts: "You called a life and death emergency line."

The caller hits back: "I want some sleep... I want you to get that machine out of the sky so that I can get some sleep, if you don't mind."

The 999 operator tells the caller that he shouldn't be dialling 999 for this as it wasn't an emergency.

"I'm calling 999 because I want some sleep," the caller says.

The operator tells him: "We're very busy and this is a life and death emergency line", before ending the call.

Posting the audio of the call on Twitter, The Met said the helicopter was being used to search for a missing woman, who was eventually found with severe injuries to her arms.

Commenters slammed the caller for his selfish attitude.

Ed McGuinness, a former army officer, said: "People who make these calls should be located, prosecuted and named & shamed for wasting police time."

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