Over the last year, Met Police call handlers took more than two million 999 calls, but more than 20,000 of these were unnecessary.
By releasing the tapes of some of these calls, the Met hope to highlight the amount of time-wasting 999 operators have to deal with.
Chief superintendent David Jackson, who is in charge of call handling for the Met, said:
While 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.