London’s 999 service receives almost 6,000 “inappropriate” and bogus calls every month according to figures published by the Metropolitan Police today. According to the Met approximately 70% of these are made by repeat callers.
Dealing with callers who persistently abuse the 999 system is the job of the MPS Central Communications Command Intelligence Unit who work in partnership with BT and mobile phone companies to ensure offenders stop.
According to Commander Simon Foy of Central Communications Command these calls can have “a significant effect on the service since the calls block up telephone lines, which can delay callers with a genuine emergency being connected to an operator.”
When a caller is identified as a persistent misuser of the emergency system, the registered phone owner will get a warning letter. If that caller continues to abuse the emergency system, the police will notify the relevant service provider and work with them to seek an appropriate solution, which can lead to arrest or disconnection of their telephone line.
Continued misuse of the 999 system can result in a conviction or disconnection from their telephone service provider.