The Met Police has released details of some of the prank calls it has received over the last year.
From the period 1 January to 1 December 2020, staff at the Met’s Contact Centre (MetCC) received a total of 3,540,185 101 and 999 calls, with over half of those from callers who required immediate help.
Some of these requests for assistance can include violent crimes, burglaries in progress or to attend life or death situations.
There are three call centres across London with a total of 1,719 specially trained employees who are either staff or police officers. They answer calls 24 hours a day, which can range from non-emergency reports to sending emergency assistance to Londoners in distress.
The force has reported that sadly amongst the calls from people in emergencies, they have also received calls from people who asked whether they could have chicken nuggets, told call operators to “remember to shower, I can smell you from my house” and numerous repeat callers.
One caller, who rang four times in one night, openly admitted to not needing the police and had just been calling for a chat.
Chief Superintendent David Jackson, Head of Contact, Command and Control at the Met, said:
“Operators at Met Contact Centre are required to work at a high technical level, perpetually under time pressure, and deal with calls that are quite often a matter of life and death. It is truly disappointing that a minority of people have chosen to prank call the service.
“We appeal to the public to act responsibly when using the lines – there could be a situation unfolding which is worsening by the minute, and our operators’ valuable time and skills are essential in these instances.
“We reserve the right to prosecute nuisance callers under either Malicious Communications or s127 Communications Act (Misuse 999) legislation.”
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