Winnipeg police have charged a 25-year-old man after he allegedly made dozens of false 911 calls for almost two years.
According to officers, a total of 47 phone calls to 911 were made to the Winnipeg Police Communications Centre between December 2018 and August 2020, claiming an emergency was occurring.
Const. Rob Carver said it took some time before police realized the calls were being made by one person.
"Once we figured it out, we had to sort of go back in time and see if there were others and put it all together," said Carver.
The calls were made to both police and Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service, and were all determined to be false.
Carver noted many of the calls resulted in investigations and it took time to determine each call was false
"As a result of the calls, multiple emergency resources were dispatched, and investigations initiated, resulting in a financial loss to the City of Winnipeg of several hundred thousand dollars," police said in a statement.
The Major Crimes Unit began investigating last month, and an arrest was made on Wednesday.
Harley David Lee Harding has been charged with public mischief and indecent communications and was detained in custody.
Carver said the second charge came because many of the calls were disturbing.
"They were alarming and sexual in nature," said Carver.
The charges have not been tested in court.
Carver also issued a reminder to Winnipeggers about making false calls.
"False calls to 911 not only are they illegal, but there is a real impact on the community in terms of resources being pulled to something that isn't valid," he said, noting many people have to wait for emergency responders when false calls are made.