‘The biscuits were out of date’ - Police reveal 2019 hoax 999 calls

Monday, December 30, 2019

The Metropolitan Police have warned members of the public to “think before you dial” as the force reveals some of the 2019 hoax emergency calls that are “putting lives at risk”.

A mistake with a chip shop order and an out-of-date packet of biscuits were among more than 22,000 time-wasting calls to the country’s largest police force.

In the audio footage released, you can hear one man ask what time it is and another complaining that his biscuits were out-of-date.

A woman says: “I only ordered one saveloy and chips…they have sent me three saveloy and chips.”

A statement from the Met said: “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.”

Chief Superintendent David Jackson 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.”

Call handlers identified 22,491 hoax 999 calls in the first 11 months of 2019, with 2,912 hoax calls to the 101 non-emergency police number.

Overall, the Met received 2,157,080 999 calls between January 1 and November 30 this year.

Over the same period in 2018, call handlers took more than two million 999 calls, but 21,733 of these were unnecessary, the Met said.

Superintendent Jackson urged the public: “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.”

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