Emergency call for help fails to move Vietnam metro cop

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A police officer from Ho Chi Minh City's rapid response force, Unit 113, had made a mistake in failing to help a woman who'd called and said she was trapped in an ATM booth by men stealing her bike.


Bui Van Lao, a senior officer with the unit, told Thanh Nien on a Saturday report the police officer who received the call on Tuesday misjudged the urgency of the matter and did not deploy help in time.


On Tuesday afternoon, four men had pretended to be strangers waiting at an ATM booth in District 1, so Nguyen Thi Thanh Thuan felt safe about entering it with her motorbike on the sidewalk outside, locked .


Two of the men then stood at the booth door to trap Thuan while two others unlocked it. They left with the bike even though the woman called 113 for help.


The booth did not have any alarm equipment or camera, and another person withdrawing money from it last week had also lost his motorbike, locals said.


Thuan said police with the 113 unit had told the woman to file a report at the local police station.


The officer who took the call has confirmed the response, saying he "did not hear the panic in the caller's voice and thus wrongly assumed that the matter was done for a while."


The identity of the officer has not been released.


Commander Lao admitted that the unit had erred in not responding to the woman.


He said "the officer should have received all the information, rightly evaluated the situation and urgently informed his seniors to send forces to help the victim and look for the culprits.


"The person in charge has not fulfilled his responsibility and failed to follow the procedures"¦ This is the first time, so we would learn a lesson and fix the spirit and attitude of the whole staff," Lao said.


It normally takes five to 10 minutes for 113 police to arrive at the site of a reported incident, the commander said, adding they were late sometimes only because of the traffic.


He said while sending forces, the unit would also call on local security forces for help.


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