LONDON (Reuters) - As Arctic blizzards swept across southeast England, stranding hundreds in their cars and bringing motorways to a virtual halt in whiteout conditions, Kent police received a strange call on their emergency number.
"I haven't been out to check on him for five hours but I went outside for a fag (cigarette) and he's gone," said the female caller.
When the operator asked who had gone she replied: "My snowman. I thought that with it being icy and there not being anybody about he'd be safe.
"It ain't a nice road but you don't expect anybody to nick your snowman," she added.
Police were most definitely not amused.
"This call could have cost someone's life if there was a genuine emergency and they couldn't get through. It was completely irresponsible,' said Chief Inspector Simon Black.
A transcript of the call was released by the force to highlight what they said was misuse of the emergency number 999 system. (Reporting by Michael Holden; Editing by Steve Addison)