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False and Malicious Calls (470A/21)


  1. Please could I kindly request statistics for the number of calls received by West Midlands Police annually over the last 5 years which turned out to be false malicious calls?
  2. And how many of the calls (if not all) were attended to by the Police i.e. officers needed to be dispatched. I would be grateful if you could breakdown the type of call received e.g. drugs reported, firearm reported, wanted people reported etc.
  3. Also if possible please could I get an understanding of what the procedure/policy is of West Midlands Police for calls that turn out to be false and malicious. Once officers have been dispatched to an address which turns out to be a false and malicious call, do they try to identify the caller? If yes what are the statistics for the number of callers that have been identified? Also how is this logged and are there any policies or procedures in place that would prevent the same individual or address being targeted again and again by someone making false malicious calls? E.g. if someone has reported a wanted person at a property and several officers have been dispatched but it turned out the call was false and malicious when would the Police deem this to be harassment against the individuals living at that address? If several calls were made at the same address over a period of a year and each time officers went to the address and found nothing, what is the policy for the Police in chasing the person making the false calls that is wasting police time?
  4. Finally what is the cost to the force annually for false malicious calls? Also please could you give an average cost per call.


With regard to questions 1 & 2, please find attached our response.

With regard to questions 3 & 4, there is no specific recorded information held. There are various consequences for false and malicious calls (such as fixed penalties or arrests), however, this would depend on the individual circumstances and what is proportionate. There is not a specific policy with regard to this. Additionally, in terms of the cost of dealing with a call, this is not separately collated because this would form part of normal working duties.

Every effort is made to ensure that the figures presented are accurate and complete. However, it is important to note that these data have been extracted from a number of data sources used by forces for police purposes. The detail collected to respond specifically to your request is subject to the inaccuracies inherent in any large scale recording system. As a consequence, care should be taken to ensure data collection processes and their inevitable limitations are taken into account when interpreting those data.

The figures provided therefore are our best interpretation of relevance of data to your request, but you should be aware that the collation of figures for ad hoc requests may have limitations and this should be taken into account when those data are used.

If you decide to write an article / use the enclosed data we would ask you to take into consideration the factors highlighted in this document so as to not mislead members of the public or official bodies, or misrepresent the relevance of the whole or any part of this disclosed material.