How a North Yorkshire emergency handler dealt with the 'suspicious Tesco van' call

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We were all intrigued to hear about the North Yorkshire village resident who called police because they spotted a 'suspicious' Tesco delivery van.

The caller phoned 101 because 'nobody in the village shops at Tesco' and they were convinced the driver's motives were dubious.

And now a North Yorkshire Police call handler has revealed how staff responded to the unusual complaint.

Jane Larkin, 57, is the manager of the police control room, where she has worked for 17 years.

The patient operator who took the call stayed on the line to listen to live updates from the scene as the Tesco van made its deliveries.

“We stayed on the phone with them and the driver delivered the basket, so they were satisfied there was nothing serious going on there.

“We were able to tell the caller that Tesco generally deliver up to a certain time in the evening. We actually stayed with the customer on the phone to see what happened. The driver did get out, open the back of the van, pick out a basket and take it to a house and then got back in and drove off.

“I think the caller thought that the vehicle was suspicious because they weren’t aware of anyone in the village who shopped at Tesco. They thought because it’s not a regular occurrence, it must be something suspicious."

Despite the inappropriate nature of the call, Jane says that her staff will always try to help whenever they can - including Googling the phone numbers of organisations such as the RSPCA and even giving directions to lost people.

For data protection reasons the force did not reveal the exact location of the village.

Ominous sky in Leeds
Leeds Bridge
River Aire

Photograph taken by Gary Hope
25 Thornfield Way
Cross Gates
Leeds LS15 7UZ
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