One man calling 999 20 times in one day because he was lonely is just one of the many bogus calls Surrey Police receive.
The Surrey Police anti-social behaviour team has said they plan to crack down further on persistant nuisance callers to the emergency line.
Two Criminal Behaviour Orders have been issued to two men in Walton-on-Thames for wasting police and ambulance time, and officers have said they plan to issue more.
Jo Grimshaw from the Surrey Police anti-social behaviour team shared a story where one man called them repeatedly one day with bogus claims.
She said: “In some of the cases we have dealt with recently one man phoned the 999 service twenty times in one day.
"In other instances, he would either make up injuries or tell the call handler he had weapons in his house.
"Each time, a police or ambulance unit would need to be dispatched and on arrival they found there was no requirement for them to be there.
"The man was often verbally and physically abusive to staff and call handlers although on other occasions he would start the conversation saying he was lonely and wanted to talk to someone."
The CBOs issued to the men in Walton-on-Thames has been successful at stopping their calls, according to Surrey Police, so are looking to issue more to nuisance callers.
Officer Grimshaw said: "“999 calls that are inappropriate, persistent and where the caller is abusive and insulting to call handlers is a real problem for the emergency services and it’s something we’re not prepared to tolerate.
“Other calls we have received include falsely reporting a relative was missing, asking to speak to the Samaritans and testing the police to see how long it would take officers to attend his address.
“The impact of this type of behaviour is huge in terms of resources, the financial cost of deploying to a bogus incident, potential risks to members of the public and the impact on call takers and front line officers and staff who have to deal with abusive and sometimes physically aggressive individuals.
“It’s often the case that the people who are abusing the 999 system need support from other agencies who are better placed to help them and we will always approach these individuals at an early stage with a multi-agency action plan to offer specialist support and help for their often complex needs.
"However, where there’s a lack of engagement, poor response to warnings and continued anti-social behaviour on such a dramatic scale we won’t hesitate to apply to the court for a Criminal Behaviour Order.”
Sarah Durston, head of Contact at Surrey Police, said: “On the occasions where these men did not have an emergency they may have prevented someone else who was in genuine danger from getting through to us. This presents a real risk to our ability to respond to genuine emergency calls.
“The 999 number must only be used for situations where a crime is actually in progress or someone is in danger. Calling us on 101 does not change the police response you would get in a non-emergency situation and using the right number could literally save someone's life.”