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'Ordering A Pizza' Could Save Your Life, Say Police

'Ordering A Pizza' Could Save Your Life, Say Police

North Yorkshire Police have recalled an incident in which a woman rang to 'order a pizza'.

North Yorkshire Police has revealed how they managed to provide immediate support for a vulnerable woman after she called 999 and asked to order a pizza.

Taking to Twitter, the police force explained that earlier in the week, their team received a 999 call. However, when a handler answered, the woman on the line asked for a pizza.

The woman said she wanted to order a pizza (

"When a call 'to order pizza' becomes an urgent plea for help... We received a 999 call – but when it was answered, the woman on the line said she would like to order a pizza," they wrote.

Instinctively, the call handler asked the woman if she was in trouble, which she confirmed she was.

Only able to answer yes or no questions, police quickly established the woman was on a bus in North Yorkshire and was at risk of harm from a man she was with.

In order to secure more information, the handler kept the phone line open and was able to text the woman for more information.

This led to officers being able to locate the bus using an online tracker, and stop it in York.

North Yorkshire Police tweeted about the incident (

A 40-year-old man from Leeds was arrested in connection with the incident. He was subsequently released with no further action, although the woman has been provided with safeguarding and support.

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.”

The woman was on the bus when she called (

All 999 calls are directed to call centres and answered by BT operators. The handlers will ask which service is required, but if anything suspicious is heard, they will connect you with a police handler.

North Yorkshire 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 we can assess your call and arrange help if needed," they explain.

Tyla has reached out to North Yorkshire Police for further info.

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Life