I am pleased to report that finally, after a year of torment, Banana Man has been caught and stopped. I worked for twelve hours on the East Central desk today and there was NOT ONE single call to that particular Woolworths, no one collapsed on the runway at Gatwick Airport, no itchy penises and definitely no offers of a banana. He was caught by an ingenious police officer, who called him back pretending to be someone running a competition, asking him to give his name and address so his prize could be sent. Banana Man took the bait and revealed all.

It transpired that Banana Man is only a teenager and is seriously disabled, so at the moment he isn’t being prosecuted. Social Services are getting involved and trying to put a stop to the calls, and so far so good. I must admit that after months of tearing my hair out after being terrorised and frustrated by this individual, my sympathy-o-meter is rating about a zero and I am not terribly impressed by this lenient attitude. Disabled or not, he had the presence of mind to go out and acquire SIM card after SIM card after having them cut off; he was with it enough to answer call taker’s questions and laugh when they reprimanded him for hoaxing. I just don’t believe that he was totally unaware of the consequences of his actions and I think he should receive some kind of punishment for it. It also begs the question, if he is young and/or disabled, where were his parents or carers when the calls were being made?

Still, I suppose this is not for me to worry about and I should just be grateful that I will never be driven to distraction by him again. I expect to see a sharp decrease in the number of calls recorded in the East Central from now on.

Published Aug 26, 2008 - 13 Comments and counting

13 Comments on “Bananaman Foiled”
  1. MarkUK Says:

    Fully agree.

    If the guy is a teenager with enough nous to take the various precautions, he should be prosecuted. A teen making ONE hoax call is a case for a caution. A series of calls with precautions against discovery of ID is a different kettle of fish.

    BTW, WTF has disability got to do with it? Unless it’s a mental disability (and it’s probably not, considering the precautions), the teenager should be prosecuted the same as any able person. Non-discrimination must work both ways if it is to work at all.

  2. Corrvin Says:

    That’s awesome news. Sometimes some of our “frequent callers” disappear, and I often wonder what happens to them. I suppose this is a better ending than “he really was in trouble that last time and no one got there to help him in time”!

  3. Chris Cropper Says:

    I killed 23 people, but as I left the building I tripped and fell. Not only did Claims Direct get massive amounts of compensation, but I also got away freely, as unfortunately as I tripped, I fell onto my machete, which promptly cut off everything below my waist, but thanks to the great people at LAS, I was saved. I now have 999 on speed dial, and test it several times a day just to make sure that it still works.

    Chris.

  4. Chris Cropper Says:

    I killed 23 people, but as I left the building I tripped and fell. Not only did Claims Direct get me massive amounts of compensation, but I also got away freely, as unfortunately as I tripped, I fell onto my machete, which promptly cut off everything below my waist, but thanks to the great people at LAS, I was saved. I now have 999 on speed dial, and test it several times a day just to make sure that it still works.

    Chris.

  5. Bonus king... Says:

    Thanks for the update Mark

    I was beginning to miss old itchy bum actually…not had a call for ages and ages…i was almost worried that he’d forgotten about us and was peddling his itchy bits to the LFb or the Police instead of us lucky las folk..

  6. Kelley Says:

    Just wanted to say hi and that I really enjoy reading your blog. I am a 911 dispatcher in South Dakota (USA) and I read your blog on a regular basis!

  7. katie Says:

    Hmmm. I’m a disabled person…

    Unless his disability had an impact on his ability to understand what he was doing, I don’t see why this shouldn’t be persued in the same way as it would be with any other hoaxing teenager. That said, it’s not always as clear cut as it might be: many ill or disabled people, especially when we’re young, have complex relationships with the health services, and complex emotions towards them.

    *shrugs*

    But that might’ve had nothing to do with it. If it did, then the guy needs help and support. If it didn’t, then *not* treating equally to anyone non-disabled who’d committed the same crime is discrimination.

    The only other point I have is that young disabled people, even severely disabled ones, don’t hang out with their parents and carers *all* the time. In fact, if he spends a lot of his life in the company of adults having to be grown up and ‘cared for’, I can see the attraction of sneaking off and making crank phone calls, pretty darn thrilling, I’d say.

    Personally, I got drunk on cans of Co-op cider for the same buzz, but we’re all different.

    But I’ve just made that whole scenario up. Who knows what’s going on there. It’s good he’s been stopped. Being disabled shouldn’t automatically exonerate him. Like I say, if he was doing it for a disability related reason, he needs help. If he wasn’t, I don’t understand why they’re treating him less than equally.

  8. Anonymous Says:

    I work with adults with developmental disabilities. I have a client with Down’s Syndrome who has been fired from multiple jobs due to stealing/panhandling, has stolen from her parents 6 times in the last 18 months and regularly panhandles in order to buy slurpees. It’s not that she doesn’t know it’s wrong, it’s that she is so protected from the consequences of her actions that she doesn’t care. Disabilities should only protect you for so long; if you are repeatedly offending than you should get punished like the rest of us.

  9. Sewmouse Says:

    Love the new blog look!

  10. M's Way Says:

    Wonder if its the same lad who did a similar thing to a helpline I worked on. He would phone up, tell us he needed a heart transplant, then pretend to have a heart attack. He was very clever though, always blocked his number. Was reported to policem, no idea if he ever got caught though. My opinion for what its worth, if he is able enough to manage that, he is able enough to be prosecuted.

  11. Alexx Says:

    Good to know it’s stopped – and I like the new look!

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  13. Yahoo Hosting Coupon Says:

    yeah the blog is looking sweet

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    Nee Naw was a blog about life in the London Ambulance Service control room. It was written by Suzi Brent from 2005 to 2010. The blog is no longer being updated, but the archives will remain here.
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