Planet China

Drunken calls

In the US it is 911 and in the UK it’s 999. In China the emergency line to get through to the police is 110. Most people use it sparingly. But not, it turns out, a man surnamed Zhao from Chongqing. The Chongqing Economic Times reports the 71 year-old has dialled 110 a total of 1,483 times in the past year. A lonely divorcee, he began making the calls after he’d gone boozing and wanted someone to talk to. He’d say he’d fallen down or he’d lost his key and ask officers to come to his assistance at home. However, the police found that there was never anything wrong with Zhao, with the possible exception of being steaming drunk. The Chongqing Economic Times reckons Zhao has now met practically every policeman in the municipality’s Yuzhong District. Some pity him, given his daughters live in Beijing and he is all alone. But as is evidenced by their continued response to his calls, there isn’t much they can do to punish him for wasting police time. Ordinarily a person could be detained for around five days for such acts. But given Zhao is above 70 he is exempt from administrative detention. The Yuzhong police’s new strategy is to persuade his ex-wife to take him back.

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