Nuisance caller phoned Derbyshire police to report fraud because ‘pizza topping was wrong’

editorial image

The wrong pizza topping, a row over a TV remote and a missing guinea pig.

These are just some of the nuisance calls received by Derbyshire Constabulary in the last month.

Chief Superintendent Graham McLaughlin, head of operational support at the force, took to Twitter to highlight some of the timewasting calls they receive.

He wrote on the social media site: “Thanks to the caller for wasting police time & resources as their pizza had the wrong topping so they wanted to report a fraud.”

He also wrote: “Thanks to the caller for wasting police time & resources because his wife wouldn’t give him the TV control.”

Before adding: “Thanks to the caller for wasting police time and resources because she wanted us to search her flat for her missing guinea pig.”

Chief Supt McLaughlin also went on to say that the force had received a call from someone who dialled 999 because their mobile phone was locked and dialling 999 was the only way to unlock it, a call to ask what the time was because their TV had broke, a call from someone who said there was a duck on the A6 in Milford and they were worried and from someone who said they had found a hair in their pub food.

Chief Supt McLaughlin said: “Every time someone misuses the 101 they are wasting valuable police time and resources.

“It can delay the speed of response to genuine victims of crime, or to members of the public who might be contacting us with important intelligence around crime prevention, detection and missing persons.

“This is especially true when we receive a large number of nuisance calls, which can significantly impact upon on how quickly other calls are answered.”

Thousands of nuisance calls are made to emergency services every year.

In April, East Midlands Ambulance Service received a hoax 999 call, reporting that a young girl had been run over by a car and had died.

The air ambulance, a paramedic in a fast response vehicle and two crewed ambulances were sent to the scene to treat the patient, but when they arrived there was no-one at the address and it became clear the call had been a hoax.

As the air ambulance costs £1,700 per incident and each ambulance costs £255 per incident, this one hoax call cost £2,465.

Simon Tomlinson, general manager for the emergency operations centres, at EMAS said: “Hoax calls can put people’s lives in danger by diverting resources away from genuine emergencies and can delay responses attending serious or life threatening emergency calls.

“They also place additional strain on emergency services at a time when the Trust is dealing with a rising number of 999 calls.”