Firefighters have been called to nearly 4,000 false alarms in Sutton over the past five years, figures have revealed.

More than half were triggered by automatic fire alarms but 89 calls turned out be “malicious” hoaxes.

Crews from Sutton and Wallingon stations responded to 3,817 false alarms between 2011 and 2015, according to London Fire Brigade (LFB) statistics obtained by the Sutton Guardian through a Freedom of Information request.

The brigade classifies false alarms into three categories: malicious; false but with good intent; and response to an automatic fire alarm.

Between 2011 and 2015 firefighters attended 89 malicious calls, 844 false callouts with good intent and 2,884 automatic fire alarms.

In January 2014, LFB began charging building owners for every tenth false alarm to the a property in a 12-month period.

A spokesman for the brigade said: "The charging scheme has been introduced as part of the approach to reduce unnecessary calls and encourage better management and maintenance of automatic fire alarm systems.

"Even when appropriate measures are in place, false alarms will occur.

"However, a false alarm is not necessarily a reason in itself to call the emergency services and if they occur regularly, action should be taken to prevent the brigade being called out unnecessarily.

"The LFB is not required to attend calls that are made solely because a fire alarm system has actuated.

"We do attend there is a slight chance - approximately three per cent- a false alarm may became a fire and firefighters may be needed."

In December the LFB received 187,000 false alarms and 8,600 hoax calls across the capital.

Among the unnecessary callouts were pleas for firefighters to rescue a dove stuck in a chimney and a kitten that had a tambourine on its head.