A London police officer has been sacked following a series of mishandled calls to the 999 emergency number, resulting in rape victims, assaults and other serious crimes not being dealt with immediately.
Between May and July in 2009, the 58-year-old police officer based at Bow Central Command Centre was rude and condescending to callers and he dismissed calls reporting crimes such as domestic violence and a potential armed break-in, failing to alert other police officers.
He also falsely recorded phone numbers of callers by changing the last digit so that his superiors would not discover his negligence.
The Independent Police Complaints Commission were first alerted to the PC's misconduct when they received a complaint in August 2009 from a woman who dialled 999 to report a domestic assault but found the officer rude and incompetent as he kept misspelling her name.
The sacked PC handled about 3,000 phone calls over the three-month period. Of these, 141 had "significant performance issues" and 19 amounted to gross misconduct.
Deborah Glass, IPCC Commissioner for London, said: "When the public call 999 for help from the police they should receive an immediate, professional and sympathetic response.
"This officer not only did not provide that response, in some cases he deliberately obstructed their attempts to get help and left some callers in continued danger.
"It is a matter of luck - and the persistence of those seeking help - that his actions do not appear to have resulted in serious harm to a member of the public.
"It beggars belief that a police officer whose job was to help people in distress should have behaved in such an appalling and callous way. He has rightly been dismissed."
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