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... to call emergency services and ask them to break into my brother's house?

(61 Posts)
shockthemonkey Wed 26-Nov-14 11:50:39

Hello, I have name-changed to protect my brother's identity.

My brother is a severe alcoholic who has holed himself up in his flat to drink himself into oblivion.

None of his family can reach him because we all live abroad. But we know he is drinking and now he has stopped answering his phone. His doctor warned us a few years ago that he would not live much longer if he continued drinking... and since our father recently died we have all had the strong feeling that our brother has given up on life.

If we call emergency services and explain the situation, would they be able to break in and get him? We have no contacts in the locality, never mind anyone in the building we can talk to. We just have his address and his mobile number (which just goes straight to voicemail).

What's the best course of action? He is in London. Thanks so much if you can advise

MonstrousRatbag Wed 26-Nov-14 11:53:37

I think the police would go around to check on him if you explain teh situation.

Does your brother work? Do you know any friends or family or colleagues who might have seen him recently, so you can establish for how long he's been out of circulation?

TywysogesGymraeg Wed 26-Nov-14 11:54:01

It's certainly worth calling the local police and asking them for advice. They may well say that he's an adult, and can lock him self in and drink himself to oblivion if he wants to, but they may also be able to refer you to other agencies who might be able to help.

I'd definitely give them a try though. Also, perhaps AA might have some ideas?

Haggismcbaggis Wed 26-Nov-14 11:54:11

I'm sorry you are in this situation. I think he should be checked on, yes. You should call his local police station, explain the situation and ask for their advice.

How long as he been out of contact for? I presume this has happened before. I hope he's ok.

whatsagoodusername Wed 26-Nov-14 11:54:44

No idea, sorry, but hopefully bumping for you.

Worth a try? At worst they'll say no.

Hope he's okay flowers

skylark2 Wed 26-Nov-14 11:57:55

Yes, ring the police. But they won't break in and get him if he tells them to go away.

(Have sadly been in a similar situation with someone who needed help but would not accept it).

Sorry this is happening flowers

shockthemonkey Wed 26-Nov-14 12:02:51

Thank you everyone. He has been drinking for two weeks roughly, out of circulation for a few days I suppose. No job any more, and he was due to see family a few days ago (they were passing through London) but predictably cancelled on them at the last minute.

Thanks again for sympathy and advice. I will try your suggestions and let you know. He may tell them to go away but he may also be too far gone for that.

AA, worth a try of course. He has joined so many times and given up after a couple of weeks each time. But didn't think that they may be able to help us think of ways to reach him.

Thanks again,

x2boys Wed 26-Nov-14 12:06:04

The police will.do.a concern for welfare visit to him if you ask.

Showy Wed 26-Nov-14 12:12:52

I hope all is okay. The local police, as others have confirmed, will go and check on him. We had to do this with my Grandma once. She stopped answering the phone and we were away on holiday. She'd had a bad fall.

CatsCantTwerk Wed 26-Nov-14 12:15:34

I would call the police, They will go round.

I hope all is ok.

Bumpedbonce Wed 26-Nov-14 12:19:25

The police will go round and do a welfare check on him, hopefully he just isn't wanting to talk to anyone at the moment. Sorry for the loss of your father it must be very hard

ameliadoop Wed 26-Nov-14 12:25:45

Yes, call the police and tell them you're worried about him. He might of course tell them to get lost, but at least you will know if he is OK. Do you have any family or does he have any friends near him who could go round? Is there any possibility of you flying over to visit?

uurrghhhhhh Wed 26-Nov-14 12:28:11

Yhhg

mutternutter Wed 26-Nov-14 12:29:16

I hope by now you have called them. A similar thing happened in my life and it was not good

exWifebeginsat40 Wed 26-Nov-14 12:33:52

yep the police will do a welfare check. my sister called them early this year when I had just split with XH and moved in on my own. I was drinking and suicidal. they offered to take me to hospital but as I refused they didn't push it. I hope it turns out ok. they may force entry if he won't respond to knocking etc

JamNan Wed 26-Nov-14 12:33:54

Call the police and they will go and do a 'welfare check'. Please don't delay. I really don't wish to scare you but this happened to a friend of ours and she waited until the next morning before contacting police. Sadly her friend had passed out in front of an electric fire and was dead when they found him. Remember he is ill and (at the moment) has little control over his drinking.

hotfuzzra Wed 26-Nov-14 12:35:43

I am a police officer.
You are fine to call 999 (what is more an emergency than concern for someone's life) or 101 (the non-emergency line) and say your brother is an alcoholic who has said worrying things about wanting to drink himself 'into oblivion' which you take to mean until he dies, and is no longer contactable.
Police will do a safe and well check on him and if we also have concerns can force entry to check his wellbeing.
Wish you all the best flowers

hellsandwich Wed 26-Nov-14 12:42:07

Call both the police and relevant local authority's adult safeguarding team. I hope he is okay, OP. Wishing you the best too flowers

shockthemonkey Wed 26-Nov-14 14:43:08

Thank you everyone, I'm really touched by your responses.

I am so glad to get so much support and so many useful tips.

I could fly out, but over eight years my sisters and I have taken it in turns to fly thousands of miles, sometimes with the help of an interventionist, to get him into rehab... only to have him hit the pub/equivalent as soon as he comes out. Each time. I cannot leave my family right now (they had to do without me for two solid weeks when I was away for my father's last days and funeral).

Neither of his two nearest police stations are answering the phone at all. One recording suggests leaving a message (but without giving the impression it will be treated with any great urgency -- after all, that's what 999 is for), and the other suggests an email.

I cannot call either 999 or 101 from outside the UK, so I have gone the local authority route. They are being incredibly nice but still have me on hold to see what they can do.

Nice music though...

hellsandwich Wed 26-Nov-14 14:51:43

Shock There is no point in getting a flight. What he's doing is his decision and frankly his right. I had an awful time with my mum (self neglect/slow suicide) and there was nothing I could do. We tried and tried and tried. We tried with formal help. We tried without formal help. We weren't able to do anything. She had the capacity to make the decision to do what she was doing (whether a good decision or not). I feel so bad for you. It's like a smack in the face when you try so hard and nothing changes because the person you love won't 'join in'. I had to learn to accept it in the end. Thinking of you. xx

Goingintohibernation Wed 26-Nov-14 14:57:22

Have you tried looking online? I think most forces now have a website, where you an report things via email or similar. I hope your brother is OK.

shockthemonkey Wed 26-Nov-14 15:21:21

Sandwich, part of me agrees with you and part of me cannot let him go like this.

His local authority after much stalling have agreed that they will attempt to make contact. I have to wait now for an update.

I had to give my full details. They will visit and if there is no reply they will force entry. My brother will never forgive me if they break down his front door and he is still conscious at that time. But I really have no option. I have agreed.

hellsandwich Wed 26-Nov-14 15:25:08

Shock - you've done the right thing. You've called in a safeguarding issue. I know he'll be angry. But you'll be happier knowing you tried. Don't beat yourself up, lovely. I hope you didn't think I meant you shouldn't try - I meant that sometimes you have to accept. PM me anytime if I can help with my been there done that hat on. xx

Coconutty Wed 26-Nov-14 15:26:51

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Tammy1212 Wed 26-Nov-14 15:32:34

Yes you can. The police will break into a property if they feel their is a threat of life and they're allowed to do it.
Please ring them that's really sad for your brother
Maybe he feels isolated because you guys are abroad can he come live with you over there?
This is really sad :-(

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