The number of hoax phone calls received by the London Fire Brigade has fallen by 83 per cent over the last decade, according to new figures.
In 2001 fire crews attended 12,898 malicious 999 calls but that number fell to just 2,152 in 2011.
The Brigade has implemented a number of measures to reduce the level of hoax calls.
These include training 999 operators to challenge callers they believe to be making prank calls and working with mobile phone operators to have mobiles making repeated hoax calls disconnected.
James Cleverly, Chairman of the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority which oversees the Brigade, says: “Hoax calls put lives at risk, waste our firefighters valuable time and are a drain on the Brigade’s resources. By working hard to cut hoax calls the Brigade is saving money and more importantly freeing up fire engines to attend real emergencies.
“We’re not complacent though and will continue to work to drive down the number of calls like this that we receive. At a time when all public sector organisations are facing serious financial challenges attending prank calls is not how Londoners want their emergency services to spend their precious time and money.”
Hoax calls by year:
2001 – 12,898
2002 – 10,703
2003 – 9,904
2004 – 8,902
2005 – 4,684
2007 – 3,005
2008 – 2,852
2009 – 2,597
2010 – 2,278
2011 – 2,152