England

Cold kebabs and 'rip-off prostitutes' among 999 calls

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Media captionPolice are asking people this festive season to think carefully before calling 999 in an emergency after revealing a number of ridiculous calls

Complaints about cold kebabs and clowns overcharging for balloons were just some of the ridiculous 999 calls made across England over the festive period.

The Met Police has released a list of 10 of the worst calls, including one about where to get a bacon sandwich.

Devon and Cornwall Police received a call from a man complaining he was "ripped off" by a prostitute.

Police said inappropriate calls increased waiting times for callers who genuinely needed help.

Tambourine on kitten's head

Other nuisance calls to the Met included one from a woman who wanted officers to deal with a couple of noisy foxes outside her home and a man whose 50p coin was stuck in a laundrette washing machine and who wanted police to retrieve it.

London Fire Brigade tweeted they were called to help a kitten that had a tambourine stuck on its head, using the tweet as part of a social media campaign to drive down nuisance calls.

Devon and Cornwall Police also spoke to a woman whose false nail had fallen off, another about a racing pigeon in her garden and a man who wanted the police to deliver a pizza.

Image caption The Met said 999 should only be dialled in an emergency, and if the complaint is not an emergency 101 should be called

The public is urged to contact police via email in non-emergency situations.

Ch Supt Pippa Mills, of the Met, said: "Callers who do not have an emergency may prevent others who require our immediate assistance from getting through to us.

"This presents a real risk to our ability to respond to genuine emergency calls."


Ten time-wasting calls made to the Met Police:

  • A woman called to say she had bought a cold kebab and the shop would not replace it
  • Callers who missed their alarm and were going to be late for a flight wanted officers to take them to the airport
  • A woman who had seen a clown in London selling balloons for £5 each, which was much more than other clowns were charging
  • Callers in distress because their low fuel indicator light had come on
  • A man called to say his 50p coin was stuck in a washing machine at his local launderette and wanted police to retrieve it
  • A man who did not have change for a parking machine claimed staff at a car park had kidnapped him because they were refusing to let him out for free
  • A caller dialled 999 at 04:00 on a Saturday morning and asked: "Where is the best place to get a bacon sandwich right now?"
  • A man called 999 as he was advised to call 111 but did not know the number
  • A woman wanted police to deal with a couple of noisy foxes outside her home as they were preventing her from sleeping
  • A woman dialled 999 to say there were men in her house trying to take her away. The men in question were police officers who had come to arrest her

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