Woman calls police to report stale pizza rolls

A woman in western Germany stunned police by dialling the emergency 110 number to complain about the quality of her takeaway pizza rolls.

Woman calls police to report stale pizza rolls
File photo: DPA

The 50-year-old woman's action was “unbelievable” said Axel Deitermann, police spokesman in Oberhausen, North Rhine-Westphalia, the Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung reported.

Operators answered the woman's call at around 8pm on Monday. Confronted with her urgent request for help, they dispatched a patrol car to her house.

But when the officers arrived, she explained that she didn't need any help and that she had just called to register her dissatisfaction with the takeaway food.

The woman appeared unruffled by the officers' explanation that by calling 110 to express her displeasure she might have stopped a genuine emergency call from getting through, saying that she would happily do the same thing again.

Because of her failure to see sense, the dissatisfied customer now faces criminal charges – as misuse of the emergency number is punishable with a fine or up to a year in prison.

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German police under fire for using tracing app to find witnesses

German police drew criticism Tuesday for using an app to trace contacts from bars and restaurants in the fight against the pandemic as part of an investigation.

A barcode used for the Luca check-in app to trace possible Covid contacts at a Stuttgart restaurant.
A barcode used for the Luca check-in app to trace possible Covid contacts at a Stuttgart restaurant. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Marijan Murat

The case stemming from November last year began after the fatal fall of a man while leaving a restaurant in the western city of Mainz.

Police seeking possible witnesses made use of data from an app known as Luca, which was designed for patrons to register time spent in restaurants and taverns to track the possible spread of coronavirus.

Luca records the length of time spent at an establishment along with the patron’s full name, address and telephone number – all subject to Germany’s strict data protection laws.

However the police and local prosecutors in the case in Mainz successfully appealed to the municipal health authorities to gain access to information about 21 people who visited the restaurant at the same time as the man who died.

After an outcry, prosecutors apologised to the people involved and the local data protection authority has opened an inquiry into the affair.

“We condemn the abuse of Luca data collected to protect against infections,” said the company that developed the Luca app, culture4life, in a statement.

It added that it had received frequent requests for its data from the authorities which it routinely rejected.

Konstantin von Notz, a senior politician from the Greens, junior partners in the federal coalition, warned that abuse of the app could undermine public trust.

“We must not allow faith in digital apps, which are an important tool in the fight against Covid-19, to disappear,” he told Tuesday’s edition of Handelsblatt business daily.