Herts Police received 153,408 calls to 999 last year – but one in 40 of them was a hoax call.
And bosses are keen to stress the importance of not wasting call handlers’ time when they have to deal with important calls every day.
Chief Superintendent Richard Liversidge said: “Hoax calls are incredibly frustrating for our call handlers but much more than that they tie up our valuable resources and can ultimately put the lives of other genuine callers at risk by causing a delay in them getting through and subsequently us dispatching officers to them.
“These time-wasting hoax calls waste police time that should be spent helping the vulnerable and dealing with legitimate emergencies where lives or property are at risk of harm.
“Making hoax calls is a serious offence and we will continue to work to prosecute anyone found to be making these type of calls.”
Herts Police also received 475,675 calls to the non-emergency 101 number.
Chf Supt Liversidge added: “During 2017, 3,215 crimes were reported online through our website and we had 16,481 live web chats with members of the public. We’re expecting these figures to continue to rise as we go forward into 2018.”