A metropolitan police officer was fired after ignoring 141
emergency calls including rape and child abuse reports.
An investigation carried out by The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) found the 58-year-old Metropolitan PC at Bow Central Command centre bungled 141 calls he received between May-July of 2009.
The police constable, who has not been named, has been accused of failing to respond to 999 calls including rape, domestic abuse, potential armed break-ins and a suicide threat during the 3-month period in 2009.
He also failed to respond correctly to reports of an attempted suicide and a road traffic collision.
The IPCC stated that the officer’s performance was significantly flawed and negligent,adding that “he had left some callers in potentially dangerous situations.” Nineteen of the calls he dealt amounted to gross misconduct, the police watchdog found.
The inquiry began in August 2009 after a woman dialled 999 who tried to report a domestic assault became frustrated and ended the call when the officer kept incorrectly spelling her name. The officer closed the call log and failed to respond to the report.
The woman later explained what happened to a family friend, who also worked at the command centre, leading to the launch of the inquiry.
It was also revealed that a woman who tried to report that her friend had been raped was told by the operator to take her to a local police station, when the correct response should have been to send a police car to the victim immediately.
The misconduct panel found that the 58-year-old operator intentionally changed the final digits of caller’s numbers when logging their details on 7 different occasions. When he was questioned, the officer said he did this to avoid a conflict arising with his supervisors.
Commander Peter Spindler, who is in charge of the MPS Directorate of Professional Standards (DPS) expressed how “shocked the vast majority of the hard working and professional call handlers were when they found that this one officer was not treating victims and witnesses with the appropriate concern, seriousness and high standards required.”
The DPS added: “we want to ensure that Londoners feel that we are here for them and that the police response meets the high professional standards the public and the Met demand”.
However, after reviewing the phone conversations the PC responded to, the police claim that none of the emergency call failings placed any callers in immediate danger and nobody was hurt.
Out of the nineteen cases of gross misconduct, nine callers had phoned back or visited a police station, six were offered assistance by the inquiry team, and four could not be reached, according to the report.
Written by Ismini Aliverti