Saturday, November 27, 2021
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‘The chicken shop has no chicken’: Met police reveal the ridiculous 999 hoax calls that waste their time

The Met Police has released seven genuine phone calls showing the absurd time-wasting calls they get – including one woman who complained that her bus driver was whistling.

The genuine calls were published as part of a crack down on calls wasting valuable police resources. Officers warn the calls could cost lives.

Other shocking time-wasting phone calls revealed by officers included:

  • A woman calling police to demand that a female taxi driver come and pick her up.

  • A member of the public rang up to demand police action – because a restaurant had ran out of chicken.
  • A man phoned to inform police that a bus driver had shut the door in his face. In reality the bus had simply broken down and passengers weren’t allowed on board.
  • One man called the emergency number to report that his breakfast ordered in a central London pub had not been served quickly enough

  • A motorist who called police to tell them he’d had an argument with a female motorist about who had right-of-way

  • A member of the public also rang up officers to wish them a Happy New Year’s.

Chief Superintendent David Jackson, in charge of call handling for the Met, said: “Whilst some people will find these calls funny, they take away police resources at a time that police numbers and funding are stretched, and we must continue to make savings across the service.

“During the time that our call handlers are dealing with these time-wasting calls, a member of the public could be in real danger or have built up the confidence to call with an important piece of information that could take a dangerous person off the streets.

“Imagine if one of your friends or loved ones was in need of the police as quickly as possible and it turned out we could not help because we were having to deal with one of these hoax calls – I’m sure that you, like us, would be devastated and extremely annoyed.”

Between January 1 to November 30 this year, the Met took more than two million calls from the public.

In the same period, police recorded a shocking 21,733 hoax calls to the 999 number.

Chief Superintendent David Jackson added: “Whilst we do not want to deter or scare people from calling us, we must remind you that the use of the 999 system is for emergencies only.”

Police advise the public to contact them on 101 if it is not an emergency.

Alternatively, all crime, anti-social behaviour and other incidents can be reported online 24/7 via the Met Police website.

Do you have a story for our news team? Email us at or call 0207 231 5258

You can WhatsApp us on 07494 070 863.


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