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Met releases audio of 999 calls that waste time and put public at risk

News   •   Dec 30, 2019 05:30 GMT

The Met has today released audio footage of 999 calls where the incident reported was not actually an emergency.

Not only did these calls waste police time and resources, they also potentially put Londoners at risk in what could be a life or death situation.

The featured calls are:

- A woman called to complain after being sent three saveloy and chips from the chippy, instead of one;
- A man asking for the time;
- A man complaining about a packet of biscuits being out of date.

Chief Superintendent David Jackson, who is in charge of call handling for the Met, said: “Although these calls can be perceived as amusing, they are actually a huge waste of the Met’s resources.

“These hoax calls block the number from other members of the public who could be calling 999 in a real emergency, keeping people in danger waiting for longer and putting lives at risk.

“If you are in a situation where you need to speak to the police, please think; the use of the 999 system is for emergencies only and we have other channels where you can speak with us.”

Between 1 January and 30 November 2019, the Met’s Command and Control call centre received well over two million calls.

From those calls, 25,448 were closed by call handlers after being identified as hoax.

If you need the police, and it is not an emergency, please call 101.

You can also report all crime, anti-social behaviour and other incidents online 24/7 via our website at www.met.police.uk.

People can also tweet any non-emergency enquiries to our Twitter account, @MetCC.

+ The Met received 2,157,080 999 calls between 1 January and 30 November 2019.

The number of hoax calls can be broken down to 999 calls and 101 calls:

- 999 hoax calls: 22,491
- 101 hoax calls: 2,912
- The remaining 45 calls were hoax alarm calls