UK police visit elderly couple who call 999 out of loneliness

Social media praise for Manchester officers who went to house for ‘brew and a chat’

Manchester police visited the house of an elderly couple after they called the emergency number out of loneliness, the force said on Twitter this week.

A tweet from the General Manchester Police division in Heywood on Tuesday read: “Just dealt with a 95 year old couple who called the Police as they were lonely. What else could we do but make them a brew and have a chat.”

The two officers who attended the house, PCs Stu Ockwell and Andy Richardson, spent 30 minutes with the couple, according to the BBC.

Thank you for all the kind words of support today following the job I attended last night, however, I say 'I' as this is...

Posted by GMP Heywood and Middleton on Wednesday, 11 November 2015

The couple, Fred Thompson and his wife Doris (95) told the BBC they were touched by the gesture.


“You feel somebody cares and oh that does matter... simple things they talk about, nothing very special but they showed that they cared by being there and talking to you,” Mr Thompson said.

Praise for the two officers mounted on social media in the hours following the tweet, prompting the officers to release another comment via a Facebook post, which said they felt they were just doing their jobs.

“Neither of us accept the title of ‘hero’ very well,” said the post, which was written by PC Ockwell, adding that the pair did “nothing more than any other Police Officer would have done anywhere else in the country if they’d found themselves in that same position”.

“The original post was to show that we don’t just deal with crime or the less desirable elements of society, but we also deal with incidents that statistics simply can not measure,” it read.

Dean Ruxton

Dean Ruxton

Dean Ruxton is an Audience Editor at The Irish Times. He also writes the Lost Leads archive series