A football fan from Notts was so disgusted with the referee’s decision to send-off a player in last night’s (Tuesday) Champions League clash, he rang 999.
The 18-year-old Manchester United supporter was watching the second-leg tie against Real Madrid when he made the call around 9.20pm.
He felt the moment Reds winger Nani was controversially dismissed for a high challenge was a crime and so decided to call police.
The teenager, from a village near Bingham, later apologised for his actions, claiming to have been caught up in the excitement.
Notts Police are now urging people to think before they dial emergency services,
There were 6,933 recorded hoax calls to Notts Police in 2012, with calls increasing during holiday periods, and especially in August. This amounted to around 2 per cent of all reported incidents.
Control room chief inspector Ted Antill said: “While this recent example may be amusing, it illustrates the sort of insincere calls we have to deal with on a daily basis in the control room.”
“They waste our time and they direct us away from genuine victims of crime, particularly if we dispatch officers out to something that turns out to be a bogus report.”
“I would ask people to think before picking up the phone for emergency services. I would also advise parents to ensure your children are aware that prank calls and the reporting of made-up crimes is a crime in itself.”
“There may be people out there in real trouble who need our help and they have to wait because we are tied up with calls like this one, reporting a referee from the television.”
“It’s no joke. In this case, the man realised his bad judgement and apologised and we decided not to pursue it further. But we can and we do prosecute people for wasting police time and making false reports.”
Only call 999 in an emergency, if a crime is in progress or life is at risk. Otherwise, for police or crime-related queries call 101. To make an anonymous report call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.