Monday, March 10, 2014

When fantasists and hoaxers put lives at risk ...

I was horrified to read today that there were more than 330 apparently false or malicious 999 calls to Cumbria's Fire and Rescue services in 2013.

In the majority of cases the fact that there was not a genuine emergency quickly became apparent, but on more than 50 occasions firefighters were called out to deal with what proved to be a hoax.

As Bob Nixon, head of operational support at the fire service, said:

“Hoax calls put lives at risk by potentially diverting fire engines that could be needed at real emergencies.”

“People might think making these kind of calls is a harmless bit of fun, but it’s a highly reckless criminal offence that can easily have fatal consequences.”

He added:

“We work closely with the police to catch those responsible and, where we can prove the identity of a hoax caller, we’ll initiate a prosecution that the police can then follow up.

“The penalty for making hoax calls can be a £5,000 fine or up to six months’ imprisonment. We also have an agreement with the mobile phone providers that allows us to cut off the mobiles of those making these types of calls.”

1 comment:

Jim said...

I have called 999 on a few occasions, but if at any time when i have used this service i had been unable to get through because of hoax calls i would have hit the roof. I guess its only when you do come to need it that you finally understand how important the 999 service is. Could you imagine looking up the number for whitehaven fire station whilst you sit in a burning home, or watch a person in a car dying?

As you are no doubt aware im not one really for fines and things, I think more education on the potential consequences of hoax 999 calls should be the order of the day.