Triple-0 operator 'spoken to' after asking if caller allegedly being attacked was an idiot

A triple-zero operator has been "spoken to" after asking if someone calling for police help because they were allegedly being attacked "was an idiot."

Mark Scully of Underwood called for police help in February 2018 when three men known to him came to his rural property and allegedly attacked him.

In the call, obtained through a Right to Information request, Mr Scully told the operator the men were threatening to kill him.

"I've got three guys attacking me, throwing rocks and me, threatening to kill me," Mr Scully told the operator.

LISTEN TO THE PHONE CALL

Mr Scully's triple-zero call on February 7, 2018
  • The call has been edited to remove personal information.

The operator asked why the men were chasing Mr Scully.

"You must know. You don't have people chasing you for no reason," the operator said.

Mr Scully said he did not know why he was being chased.

The operator asked what type of car the alleged attackers were in to which Mr Scully said he would try and see the number plate.

The operator said "excuse me, what are you doing? Stay inside, are you an idiot?"

"I'm not going to send anyone if you don't answer my questions."

Before hanging up, the operator said "stay there and I'll send someone out when they are free. If they come back, then ring us".

Mr Scully said the operator's behaviour was "abhorrent" and the main issue was that the operator threatened to not send assistance.

"She yells and she will not send anyone. She is rude and abusive. She checks that my attackers are still in the area and then tells me she will not send anyone," Mr Scully said.

Mr Scully said police attended his property three hours later.

Tasmania Police said the Radio Dispatch Officer who dealt with the call was attempting to establish the correct circumstances surrounding the call.

"While the operator at times appears terse, the intent was to ensure that the caller followed safety instructions to return to his home, secure it and wait for police arrival," a spokesperson said.

"As a direct result of the caller's correspondence to Tasmania Police, the audio recording was reviewed and the Radio Dispatch Operator was spoken to in relation to modifying the manner in which calls of this type are managed into the future.

"The caller has not made a complaint to Tasmania Police about the timeliness of police attendance in relation to the February 2018 call."

The Examiner

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