A woman called 999 to tell police she had been “mugged off” by a takeaway company that delivered her a mushroom pizza instead of a meat feast.
A recording of the shocking exchange was released by Essex Police on Tuesday as part of a campaign against hoax and inappropriate calls.
The call handler asks the woman if everything is OK, and she replies: “Yeah, no, I’ve been mugged off by a fucking takeaway would you believe it.”
She continues: “I rung up for an 18, a number 18 meat feast and she’s trying to tell me nah, nah you ordered a number eight.
“I’m allergic to mushrooms so I know for a fact I didn’t order a number eight right, and I’ve got a pizza sat here with fucking mushrooms on it that I can’t eat, £11.99 later she doesn’t want to help me out or nothing.”
When advised to call the takeaway to ask for a refund, the woman said: “Well I tried to do that but she reckons she’s the manager.”
The force said it receives around 400 hoax or inappropriate 999 calls each month – including one woman who complained that her Nando’s chicken was undercooked – and that the figure increases in summer.
In further released recordings, a man asks why the police helicopter is “hovering over my house and disturbing the peace” and a separate caller enquires about a “bull in the field” sign.
The man says he wants to know “who I can contact to find out if there really is a bull in the field or it’s just a farmer messing around”.
Superintendent Kevin Baldwin, who heads Essex Police’s control room, said: “There’s nothing that frustrates my team more than picking up the phone on a 999 call only for it to be a call which plainly isn’t an emergency and is sometimes a deliberate hoax.
“This is a very busy time of the year where we are working flat out, so answering a 999 call made by someone who should have a bit more common sense isn’t just infuriating, it could risk the life of someone who really needs us but can’t get through.”