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999, what's your emergency? I've run out of toilet paper.

Devon and Cornwall Police have released audio of a man who called 999 - after he ran out of toilet paper.

The unknown man tells the operator his emergency is that he has "run out of toilet roll". The bemused, and angry operator then asked, "You're calling 999 for that reason?"

Devon and Cornwall Police posted the call on YouTube as a permanent reminder of the abuse of the emergency phone system.

Conwoman on the run from jail arrested in Plymouth

Julie Whitehead (left) and Ian Cotton (right) were on the run from prison sentences. Credit: Devon and Cornwall Police

A convicted fraudster on the run from an eight-year jail sentence has been found in Plymouth, along with the man convicted of lying for her.

53-year-old Julie Whitehead and Ian Cotton, 36, were arrested early this morning, after two weeks on the run.

Whitehead is to be jailed for eight-and-a-half-years for a string of frauds, including conning an elderly and vulnerable woman out of her life savings. Cotton was sentenced to two-and-a-half years for perverting the course of justice.


Hazard materials team called to house in Truro

Police, ambulance services and the hazard materials team are on the scene in Truro. Credit: Joe Giddens/PA Wire

Police are investigating after three people were taken ill, after coming into contact with a package in Truro.

Cornwall Fire and Rescue's hazard materials team as well as police and ambulance services are all on the scene at Penhalls Way, Playing Place.

No other properties are believed to be affected.

Manhunt for conwoman on the run from jail sentence

Julie Whitehead (left) and Ian Cotton (right) have both been sentenced to prison. Credit: Devon and Cornwall Police

A convicted fraudster branded "scum" by the family of an elderly woman she conned out of her life savings is on the run from jail, along with the man convicted of lying for her.

53-year-old Julie Whitehead was due to be jailed for eight-and-a-half years for a string of frauds. This included telling pensioner Rose Walker that she worked at a rehabilitation centre which could help her grandson recover from drug addiction, and convincing her to hand over thousands to pay for his 'care'.

The court heard that another victim, an 83-year-old man, was so traumatised by what happened that he stopped eating. Whitehead's co-defendant, Ian Cotton, 36, was sentenced to two-and-a-half years for perverting the course of justice. A jury convicted him of lying to the police to try and take the blame for one of Whitehead's crimes.

The pair, who had denied the charges against them, were supposed to appear at Plymouth Crown Court for sentencing yesterday - but have since disappeared.

Sentencing them to prison in their absence, Recorder John Williams said it was important to protect elderly and vulnerable people.

A warrant is out for their arrest and the police are appealing for help to track them down. The two have links to both Plymouth and Bristol.

Police dogs on display at the Devon County Show

Police dogs on display at the Devon County Show Credit: Devon and Cornwall Police

The Devon and Cornwall police dog display team, together with a selection of police puppies will be showcasing their skills which they learn as part of their police training in the main arena at the Devon County Show.

The police dog display team will be will be used in a firearms scenario with gun fire where the dogs will be used to detain an armed person.

They will also demonstrate a search situation and emergency recall where a dog is sent in error to a detained person.

The puppies will be showing the crowds their newly learned skills in the agility and obedience classes.

Police dog Brodie will also be attending as the Devon and Cornwall Police guest of honour.

Brodie, from the police puppy scheme who had both hips replaced earlier this year will be on hand to meet the public at the police stand with his puppy walkers and Police Canine Development Officer, Paul Glennon.

Brodie was brought into the world by the breeding programme run by Devon and Cornwall Police.

‘Bionic Brodie’ as he has affectionately been known, captured the hearts of the public when it was confirmed the only way that Brodie could lead a pain free life was if both hips were replaced after a diagnosis of chronic hip dysplasia.

He healed nicely after the first operation and is expected to be fully recovered in about eight weeks.

– Paul Glennon, Police Canine Development Officer

Crime rate falls in Devon and Cornwall, but sexual offence reports rise

Crime rates have fallen, despite hundreds of police job losses Credit: ITV News

Despite losing hundreds of officers to austerity cuts, the crime rate across Devon and Cornwall has fallen in the last year.

New figures show over four thousand fewer crimes were reported between last April and this March. This includes an almost 10% fall in burglary and 10% less vehicle crime.

However reports of sexual offences have increased by over 20%.

Victims are central to everything we do. As a police force we focus on the crimes that have the most adverse impact on people’s lives.

In the past, domestic abuse and sexual offences have traditionally been significantly under reported to police. In partnership with the Police and Crime Commissioner we have continued over the last 12 months to encourage victims to come forward to police.

These areas remain to be a high priority for the Force, and we hope that an increase in sexual offences figures show that victims have more confidence in reporting these crimes.

– Deputy Chief Constable Bill Skelly, Devon & Cornwall Police

A full breakdown of the crime figures can be found here.


Missing man from Plymstock

Police are becoming increasingly concerned for the welfare of Lawrence Ewart Credit: Devon and Cornwall Police

Police are becoming increasingly concerned for the welfare of a 28 year old from Plymstock.

Lawrence Ewart was was last seen in the Plymouth area on Tuesday April 7th at around midday. He may be traveling in a dark blue Ford Focus registration LB10EUN.

Anyone who thinks they may have seen him is being urged to contact police

Operation launched to reduce crime on Dartmoor

Operation Moorwatch will try to cut crime on Dartmoor Credit: ITV News

Devon and Cornwall Police have launched an operation aimed at criminals who target tourists over the holidays.

Local officers will be running Moorwatch, which is aimed at cutting crime in rural areas, particularly at car park and beauty spots surrounding the Dartmoor national park.

Sergeant William Young from Devon and Cornwall Police says: "While Dartmoor is a safe place for people to live and visit there has been significant issues in the past with vehicle crime particularly visitors to the region in parking. And isolated rural car parks can become the target for thieves."

Moorwatch is all about raising the Police's profile in isolated areas. Police officer Cathy Veale says it's important people don't leave their valuables on display.

"We're going to be out and about talking to members of the publicto remind them to be vigilant and talk about any concerns they may have."

But vehicle crime isn't the only problem on the moor. The Police also want the public to look out for any anti-social behaviour such as fly tipping and illegal off-roading. Dog owners are also being warned about the dangers of their animals worrying livestock.

Rob Steemson from the Dartmoor National Parks says dog owners are also being warned about the dangers of their animals worrying livestock.

"There's a real problem at this moment in time particularly in areas close to conurbations where local people quite rightly coming up exercising the dogs but unfortunately they're not keeping them on a lead and quite often behind various gauze bushes there are stock. farmers are allowed to graze their stock and unfortunately dogs are attacking and killing sheep at this moment."

The police are hoping this campaign will send a clear message . This is an area of beauty not crime.

Police crackdown on bad drivers to start this week

Police will be monitoring road safety in unmarked vehicles. Credit: Rui Vieira/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Police will be patrolling Devon and Cornwall roads in April and May, hoping to catch drivers who break traffic laws in the act.

Using unmarked cars and motorbikes, officers from armed response and road safety units will target drivers doing any of the "fatal four". Speeding, drink or drug driving, not wearing a seatbelt and distractions such as using mobile phones while behind the wheel.

Those caught could be sent to a compulsory education programme, or, depending on the offence, be fined, imprisoned or disqualified from driving.

The campaign, called Operation Vortex, begins on 2nd April, on Junctions 26-30 of the M5.

As ever, law-abiding motorists have nothing to fear from this initiative, this is dealing with complacent and arrogant behaviour on the roads.

– Inspector Richard Pryce, Roads Policing Unit, Devon and Cornwall Police

What does the "strategic alliance" actually mean for Dorset and Devon & Cornwall Police forces?

Devon and Cornwall Police has confirmed that it will pool resources with neighbouring Dorset in what is known as a "strategic alliance".

We spoke with the Police and Crime Commissioner for Devon and Cornwall Police, Tony Hogg, who explained what it means in practice:

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