Lift home appeal and fridge delivery row among 999 calls

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Media captionThe Met said the number of calls over the past year was up 11%

Complaints about a fridge delivery and a request for a lift home were among the ridiculous 999 calls made to the Met Police over the past year.

The force has revealed some of the worst calls it has had to its emergency number, including reports of a hissing cat following someone down the road.

It said the number of 999 calls it received had increased by 11% in the past year - an extra 216,000.

Christmas and the New Year is normally the busiest time of year for calls.

The Met said the 999 emergency number should only be used to contact police in situations when someone was in danger or when a crime was actually taking place.

It said the increase in calls was thought to be partly down to an "increasing population and the reduction of some out-of-hours services by other service providers".

Emergency calls to Met Police in 24 hours


999 calls received

  • 1,300 Require a police response within 15 minutes

  • 1,000 Calls about anti-social behaviour

  • 450 Reports of missing people

  • 300 Burglary reports


'I got 999 problems but a fridge ain't one'

Some of the 999 calls released by the Met included:

  • "My mum put a deposit down on a fridge freezer and they haven't delivered it - they keep changing the delivery date."
  • "I am [at] Heathrow and I have left one of my bags in a taxi?"
  • "I have seen a fox walking outside the window and I wanted to report it in case it's dangerous."
  • "Basically, I'm in N8 and I'm trying to get home to Finsbury Park and I don't have any money on me for a taxi - I want police to come and pick me up and take me home."
  • "I'm lost and I'm looking for a building that I can't find, can you tell me where it is?"
  • "I sent back my headphones because they are faulty and the manufacturer said they haven't received them."
  • "There was a bird in the store but its ok, someone has removed it now."
  • "I have a dispute, I took my dog to be groomed and they shaved him instead of trimming him."
  • "There is a cat following me down the road and it keeps hissing."
  • "What time do the betting shops close in N18?"

Ch Supt Pippa Mills, who leads the Met's Command and Control Unit, said: "Although the majority of people who require police assistance use the numbers correctly, there are still too many calls to emergency lines where the 999 number is being used as an information service.

"In many cases a simple internet search would provide the answer to the question posed by the caller."

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