More than 200 hoax calls have been made to the Scottish Ambulance Service (SAS) so far this year.
The organisation revealed that between January and August of this year, there were a total of 219 “malicious” calls were received, compared to 191 over the entirety of 2022.
In 2021, there were 220 for the entire year and since 2017, there have been 2,620 hoax calls.
A spokesperson for the SAS said that this year’s malicious calls resulted in 236 vehicles being allocated, with crews spending an average of 33 minutes for each call amounting to 130 wasted hours.
Michael Dickson, SAS chief executive, said: “Anyone who calls 999 without a genuine need is putting lives at risk by diverting crews that could be needed to respond to a life-threatening incident.
“We work with the police to report malicious, or nuisance callers and encourage the public to help us. Hoax calls are no joke.”
Earlier this year a woman was fined £210 for making hoax calls to the SAS after she called ambulances when she did not need them.
One hoax call shared by the SAS included a person claiming they had been stabbed only for the crew to arrive and find no sign of any patient.
A study from the organisation revealed that the Greater Glasgow and Clyde area experienced the highest number of hoax calls (87) which were responsible for 40 hours not spent on those in need.
The Lothian region had the second highest number of calls at 37 with 24 hours wasted and Lanarkshire had 22, wasting 13 hours.
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