9th Dec, 2016

JAILED: Police officer face seven years behind bars for hoax 999 call

Solihull Editorial 2nd Jun, 2016 Updated: 24th Oct, 2016

A POLICE officer who sparked a major national security alert by making a hoax call falsely claiming a West Midlands Police colleague was going to be kidnapped has been jailed for seven years.

Amar Tasaddiq Hussain, aged 29 from Birmingham, was found guilty of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice on at Stafford Crown Court.

He admitted to falsely claiming a Muslim West Midlands Police colleague in the area was going to be kidnapped in an anonymous call on December 8, 2014.

The hoax sparked fears of a Lee Rigby-sytle attack on innocent officers and caused rumours that officers had been called of the region’s streets to circulate.

The call came at a time when the national terrorism threat level was severe, meaning police took the information as credible and rushed to protect officers and staff in an unprecedented police response.

Counter terrorism detectives arrested a suspect within 24 hours of the call, but as the investigation unfolded it became clear Hussain, who had served with the Birmingham West and Central policing unit for seven years, was the man behind the tip-off.

Hussain was jailed along with two other men from Birmingham ? Adil Bashir, 26 (left), and Muhammad Ali Sheikh, aged 31 (right), who both face three years behind bars.

Adil Bashir (left), and Muhammad Ali Sheikh

Police learnt the plot started because the trio had a grudge against colleagues from an Islamic community organisation which they were all members of.

One of those colleagues had nearly been arrested in September 2014, after ‘malicious’ and false information was given to police that a forced marriage was taking place at an address in Moseley.

In police interviews Hussain refused to comment on detectives’ questions, but changed his mind shortly before his trial and admitted making the December 999 call.

A misconduct hearing for the suspended PC will be held in due course.

Explaining the ‘extensive’ impact of Hussain’s hoax 999 call on West Midlands Police, representatives for the Police Federation said: “The concern felt by officers was widespread and long lasting, affecting not just police office but all police employees and their families.”

Police records showed Hussain had tried to access police logs of the September and December calls while on duty.

And expert voice analysis revealed the calls were made by Bashir and Hussain respectively.

Bashir and Sheikh bought a phone with money given to them by Hussain so they were able to send a message via WhatsApp to further discredit colleagues from their Islamic community organisation.

Assistant Chief Constable Marcus Beale said Hussain had not only let down West Midlands Police, but had also let down the ‘peaceful, non-political’ Islamic community organisation he had been a part of.

He added: “The impact of the threat had an unprecedented effect on officers and staff and in turn on their loved ones.

“Never before have we had to instruct officers and staff to call in after their tour of duty to let us know they had returned home safely.

“There is absolutely no place in policing for those who abuse the trust placed in us by the public.”