Police have come to the rescue of an elderly Wanganui woman who had not eaten in three days.

The 90-year-old was trying to get a toasted sandwich delivered to her home last week and, in desperation, called the police.

Her call went out over the police radio and was picked up by an enthusiastic patrol, who ordered a toastie from a fish-and-chip shop and delivered it.

Sergeant Colin Wright said the call came in about 9.30pm after the woman, who lived alone and had been unwell, became "distressed and desperate" when she could not order a toastie to be delivered.


"She hadn't eaten, the previous three days," Mr Wright said.

"I don't know how many places or who she'd phoned. She had obviously tried a couple of fish and chip shops and probably there was nobody else to call."

He said police "absolutely" enjoyed doing those types of jobs when a person needed their help.

"We're forever going to victims of burglaries, assaults and car crashes. This is someone who's vulnerable who we can help.

"One of our roles is to look after vulnerable people, be that mentally, physically or age-wise.

"That's why officers jumped to it.

"We could even have gone back to the police station and cooked one up ourselves."

Mr Wright felt the tale epitomised what police stood for "in terms of serving the community".


He called the hospital and they were arranging for social services to help the woman.

"It's an opportunity for people to see we're human, believe it or not."