Reports of man with hand gun in Norwich turn out to be a hoax call

Police congregate off Queen's Road as armed incident unfolds Police congregate off Queen's Road as armed incident unfolds

Monday, August 4, 2014
12:52 PM

Armed police have been stood down after reports of a man with a hand gun in Norwich turned out to be a hoax.

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Police congregate off Queen's Road as armed incident unfoldsPolice congregate off Queen's Road as armed incident unfolds

Around half a dozen armed police units rushed to the Golden Triangle at about 10am this morning amid reports of a man with a hand gun. Previously they had gathered off Queen’s Road, near to Sainsbury’s supermarket.

The police helicopter also circled above as the incident initially centred on Sarah West Close, in the Golden Triangle, where people were urged to stay inside, before moving to Vauxhall Street.

At roughly 10.45am Norfolk police confirmed the incident had been a hoax and all crews had been stood down.

It comes just four days after Norfolk police urged people to only contact them with genuine emergencies, especially during the busy summer period.

The force’s Contact and Control Room receive more than 60,000 calls in July and August every year and now officers released examples to remind people to think carefully before dialling 999.

Chief inspector Chris Harvey, Norfolk police control room manager, said: “Non-emergency or inappropriate calls tie up our emergency lines and can prevent callers with genuine emergencies from getting through – at worst they can put other people’s lives at risk.

“People should only call 999 if there is a direct and immediate threat to life or property or if a crime is in progress. Our staff prioritise people who are in immediate need and if you ring 999 in error you will be directed to call the 101 police non-emergency number or sign-posted to the most appropriate agency.”

Examples included:

“I’m drunk, can I tell you a joke?”

“I’ve missed the last train, can I have a lift?”

“Where’s the nearest late night chemist?”

“My child was playing with the phone and accidently dialed 999.”

“I am struggling to open a bottle.”

“Help me change a light-bulb.”

“My budgie flew out of a window”

Earlier this year a teenager was sentenced to six months at a young offenders institution (YOI) after he told police a bomb was due to go off at a Norwich shopping centre so his brother could finish his shift at Burger King early.

The 18-year-old called police on 999 to report there was a bomb in the food court of Castle Mall which was due to go off in six hours time.

Checks of the mall were made but no device was found and no-one was evacuated from the shopping centre following the incident which police chiefs condemned as “astonishing” in its “stupidity”.

Brown, who admitted making the bomb hoax, told police his brother was working in Burger King in the mall and “wanted to go home early” do had asked if he make a call to police and “make something up”.

A police spokesperson said: “Making a 999 hoax call is against the law, is a waste of precious time and resources, and could ultimately put someone’s life at risk. All calls to the police service are recorded and investigators can trace the call, which can then be used as evidence to prosecute offenders.”

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