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Video: Wanganui and CYFSWATCH named and shamed CYF Social Worker Donna Travers in the news.

Posted by watchingcyfswatchnewzealand on May 17, 2007

As posted on CYFSWATCH NZ

Video: Wanganui and CYFSWATCH named and shamed CYF Social Worker Donna Travers in the news.
Monday, 14.05.2007, 04:58am (GMT12)

Fatal fallout after 111 call


An emergency phone operator who said a street didn’t exist when he received a 111 call did not know how to work his computer properly.

A police report, just released to victims’ families, reveals there was nothing wrong with the police computer network but the operator simply did not know how to use it.

The 18-year-old Wanganui man who dialled 111 was beaten up and a teenager stabbed to death by the same attackers just over an hour later.

Daniel Gray and a friend were attacked on Somme Parade on Guy Fawkes night, 2004 by a car load of youths. Gray’s jaw was broken but when he called police on his cellphone the operator told him there was no such place as Somme Parade.

The conversation between the police operator and the injured man went on for almost five and a half minutes without any success. In the end the operator suggested Gray go home, get himself looked at and ring back because he had a lot of calls to deal with.

“You ring 111 you expect those people to know what they’re doing and if they don’t know where you are pretty much stuffed aren’t you,” says Gray.

The police say the trained operator, based in their Auckland Communications Centre, didn’t know how to bring up the central North Island on his computer.

“It’s inexplicable, the only thing I could suggest is that he had a mental blank,” the central region police commander Superintendent Mark Lammas says.

Wanganui police were never alerted to Gray’s call and 80 minutes later at a city beach his attackers struck again, stabbing 16-year-old Jeremy Frew.

Frew’s mother blames the failed 111 call for her son’s death.

“I’m really let down and it cost my son his life,” Donna Travers says.

The police have formally apologised to Travers but say the mishandled call may have made no difference.

“It’s most likely that there wouldn’t have been another outcome. Police were tied up on other jobs, although there were police officers who were relatively close,” says Lammas.

The botched Wanganui call was one of the high profile failures that led to a major overhaul of the police 111 system.

Meanwhile, the British-born comms operator who mishandled the call has left the country.

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