A man has vented his frustrations after four calls to the non-emergency police 101 number went unanswered.
The man was subjected to anti-social behaviour twice in one week in Carlton Crescent, Luton.
On the second instance last Wednesday, yobs smashed the windscreen of his wife’s car, making it impossible for her to go to work.
The man said: “After making four 101 phonecalls from 8.30am until 4pm, I was constantly put on voicemail each time.
“Out of desperation, I eventually called 999 and then was diverted back to 101 where I was again put on voicemail.
“Police say you’re supposed to ring 101 in a non-emergency but if no-one picks up, what are you supposed to do?”
A Bedfordshire Police spokesman said there was no technical difficulties with taking calls that day.
The spokesman added: “We received a call on 101 from a man reporting damage to a car windscreen. Calls about low level criminal activity such as this are dealt with by our Crime Bureau and the man was transferred from the control room to the bureau so that they could take the relevant details.
“Sometimes, due to a high volume of calls, we are unable to answer all calls and people are therefore given the option to leave a voicemail message. Everyone who leaves a voicemail message on the answerphone will then get a call back.
“We received an answerphone message from the man and called him back later on that day, arranging for a PCSO to go out to visit him. During busy periods the Crime Bureau may not be able to return an answerphone message immediately but will do so as soon as possible.
“999 is strictly for emergency use only, such as when a life is in danger or when a serious crime is in progress, so we would urge the public to use 101 for all non-emergency enquiries.”