Concerns of Batley taxi driver who had police operator hang up on him raised with police chief

A Batley taxi driver’s concerns over the way a police call handler spoke to him when he tried to report fears for an elderly man’s safety have been raised with the Chief Constable.

Wednesday, 12th January 2022, 11:58 am
West Yorkshire’s Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime Alison Lowe

Akooji Badat had rung 999 early on Sunday after spotting a pensioner at a cash machine in Batley town centre with another, younger, man.

When he tried to ask if the elderly man was OK, the younger man became abusive, raising concerns from Mr Badat that the pensioner could be in trouble.

Mr Badat rang 999 and explained who he was and what had happened, but said the woman who answered his call kept asking him questions and, when he challenged her about why she was not alerting officers to investigate, she hung up on him.

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He said a police officer then called him back, who was more helpful, and officers did come out to try to find out if the elderly man was OK.

“I was very upset,” he said. “What I wanted was swift action. I was let down. An emergency means an emergency and I had rung 999.”

West Yorkshire’s Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime Alison Lowe said that she and Mayor of West Yorkshire Tracy Brabin had contacted Mr Badat and asked the Chief Constable to investigate.

A spokesperson for West Yorkshire Police said police searched the area and CCTV footage, and found no victim or suspects. No crime has been recorded.

He added: “The call has been flagged to management at the West Yorkshire Police Call Centre who are looking into it.”