Remember the fable of the boy who cried wolf? For some of London’s sheepish residents, and at the expense of the London Fire Brigade, this lesson never really sunk in. Although prank call numbers are dropping steadily year-on-year, the London Fire Brigade still received 7,013 hoax calls in 2012/13. With an average call-out costing £290, that’s an annual cost to British taxpayers of over half a million pounds.
To highlight the seriousness and potential dangers of these figures, the London Fire Brigade have just released an audio compilation on YouTube, featuring a medley of some of the biggest (big in terms of their offences at least – we suspect them to be phsyically shrivelled, like hungry weasels) hoaxers in the capital. So if you don’t fancy a public shaming, remember to check there’s an actual emergency before you call the emergency services. Or a cat stuck in a tree, at least. Greg Wickert