Met Police’s 999 call handlers reveal the most annoying prank calls they received in 2020

A request for chicken nuggets and fake reports of killings and burglaries were among more than 3,000,000 time-wasting calls received by the Metropolitan Police this year.

The Met’s Contact Centre (MetCC) received 3,540,185 hoax 101 and 999 calls from January 1 to December 1 this year, with more than half coming from callers who required immediate assistance.  

The calls included one person telling operators to ‘remember to shower, I can smell you from my house’ and an individual ringing four times in one night ‘for a chat’.

The Metropolitan Police's Contact Centre (MetCC), who operate from three different call centres across London, received 3,540,185 hoax 101 and 999 calls from January 1 to December 1 this year. (Stock image)

The Metropolitan Police's Contact Centre (MetCC), who operate from three different call centres across London, received 3,540,185 hoax 101 and 999 calls from January 1 to December 1 this year. (Stock image)

The Metropolitan Police’s Contact Centre (MetCC), who operate from three different call centres across London, received 3,540,185 hoax 101 and 999 calls from January 1 to December 1 this year. (Stock image)

Requests also included services for ongoing burglaries, violent crimes, murder scenes and chicken nuggets.    

As part of these repeat callers, the MetCC, who operate from three different call centres across London, have also received calls from those who suffer with mental health issues such as dementia, and psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia – some of whom called up to 15 times a day. 

The MetCC’s 1,710 employees are on hand 24 hours a day to provide assistance to officers and staff in the service, and are a point of contact for Londoners who find themselves in extreme distress.

However the police are now appealing to the public to ‘act responsibly’ when using the lines as there ‘could be a situation unfolding which is worsening by the minute’.  

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. 

The calls included services for services for ongoing burglaries, violent crimes, murder scenes and chicken nuggets. (Stock image)

The calls included services for services for ongoing burglaries, violent crimes, murder scenes and chicken nuggets. (Stock image)

The calls included services for services for ongoing burglaries, violent crimes, murder scenes and chicken nuggets. (Stock image)

‘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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