Police help woman in danger after she called 999 to 'order a pizza'

Stock photo. Credit: Unsplash

A quick-thinking call handler managed to answer a woman's plea for help after she called the police asking to "order a pizza".

Upon receiving the 999 call, the North Yorkshire Police staff member immediately asked the caller if she was in trouble, to which she confirmed "yes".

With the woman only able to answer 'yes' or 'no' questions, the force established she was on a bus in North Yorkshire and was at risk of harm from a man who was with her.

While keeping the phone line open, the call handler was also able to text her more information.

Officers then located the bus using an online tracker and stopped it in the York area.

A 40-year-old man from Leeds was arrested in connection with the incident. He remains in custody.

Inspector Dan Spence, Force Incident Manager in North Yorkshire Police’s Control Room, said: “This was really good work by everyone involved, allowing us to take immediate action to safeguard a vulnerable woman.

"I’m aware of people using the ‘pizza ordering’ technique abroad to contact the police, but I cannot recall a similar call in North Yorkshire.”

All 999 calls are directed to call centres and answered by BT operators.

They will ask which service you need - if no service is requested but anything suspicious is heard throughout the process, the operator will connect you to a police call handler.

Police say it is always best to speak to the operator if you can, even by whispering. You may also be asked to cough or tap the keys on your phone in response to questions.

The police call handler will attempt to communicate with you by asking simple yes or no questions.

If you are not able to speak, listen carefully to the questions and instructions from the call handler so they can assess your call and arrange help if needed.