Belfast Telegraph

Monday 21 April 2014

Man warned for prostitute complaint

Police have sent a letter to a man warning him about wasting police time after he called 999 to complain about a prostitute's looks

A man has been warned by police after he dialled 999 to complain about a prostitute's looks after meeting her outside a hotel.

West Midlands Police said they were contacted by the caller who said he "wished to report her for breaching the Sale of Goods Act".

An officer in the call centre at Solihull, Birmingham, responded by telling the man the woman had not committed any offences and explained to him that soliciting for sex was illegal. The force has now sent the man a letter warning him about wasting police time.

A spokesman for West Midlands Police said: "A 999 call was received by police at around 7:30pm on Tuesday evening from a man wishing to complain about a sex worker he had met on a hotel car park.

"The caller claimed that the woman had made out she was better looking than she actually was and he wished to report her for breaching the Sale of Goods Act. When he raised this issue with the woman concerned, she allegedly took his car keys, ran away from the car and threw them back at him, prompting him to call police. An officer in the Solihull contact centre advised the caller that no offences had been committed by the woman and that soliciting for sex was in fact illegal."

He added: "Despite the man refusing to give his details, police have been able to identify him and have sent him a letter warning him about his actions. Wasting police time is a serious offence and carries a maximum sentence of six months' imprisonment."

The Sale of Goods Act 1979 gives consumers legal rights, stipulating goods which are sold must be of satisfactory quality, be fit for purpose and must match the sellers' description.

The call to the 999 emergency number was terminated by the handler, and Sergeant Jerome Moran, based at Solihull police station, called the man back to give him some words of advice.

Sgt Moran said: "It was unbelievable - he genuinely believed he had done nothing wrong and that the woman should have been investigated by police for misrepresentation. I told him that she'd not committed any offences and that it was his actions, in soliciting for sex, that were in fact illegal. Unhappy with the response, he then insisted on coming down to the police station to debate the matter."

In the event, the police instead sent the man a letter. Sgt Moran added: "We recognise that prostitution often involves the exploitation of some very vulnerable members of the community and we will actively pursue those who seek to exploit that vulnerability."

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