A UK woman who had dialled 999, the Met emergency number for nearly 40 times in four hours, in an attempt to challenge the Police department has been sentenced to 10 weeks in jail, international media reported. According to media reports, calls made by Jelena Bobrova had cost the Met Police department more than £10,000.
According to reports, Bobrova was sentenced for calling Met 1,278 times over a period of three years and breaching the Criminal Behaviour Order which she received in November 2019 for her persistence calling. On February 16, she made a total of 39 calls within four hours. In all of the phone calls, she reportedly rambled and challenged police to arrest her. She was arrested on February 23 for breaching Criminal Behaviour Order. Following which, she denied making the false calls. However, on February 24 she was sentenced at Croydon Magistrates’ Court.
Speaking on the issue to international media reporters, Police Sergeant Terry Collman said that the Metropolitan Police answers more than 4.5 million calls per year. In 2019, there were 1,75,000 calls recorded as misuse calls which amounted to a yearly cost of more than £1.3M.
He went on say that nuisance calls to police are absolutely not acceptable, they are certainly not funny and are a huge waste of time and money before saying that those calls prevent people who are in a genuine emergency from speaking to police and receiving help when they most need it. He said that he was hopeful that the sentence given to Bobrova will send a message to anyone who thinks this immature behaviour is a form of entertainment, international media reported.
According to a tweet by the Metropolitan Police, between January 1 and November 30 2019, the Met's Command and Control call centre received 2,157,080 calls. Out of the total calls, 25,448 were ended by call handlers after being identified as a hoax. Of these, 22,491 were hoax 999 calls, 2,912 were hoax 101 calls, while the remaining 45 were hoax burglar alarm calls.