REDDITCH residents are being urged by West Merica Police to remember the implications of making a hoax 999 call.
With over 600,000 emergency and non emergency calls made to the force’s control room last year, hoax callers are draining police resources and putting lives in danger by distracting police from potentially life threatening incidents.
The warning comes after a number of silent hoax calls were made to 999 from a phone box in Droitwich in recent weeks – enquiries are ongoing to trace the offenders.
Chief Inspector Sean Kent at Warwickshire Police and West Mercia Police said: “By making fraudulent calls, you could be preventing the police from attending an incident where someone is in serious need of help.
“All our calls to the police are recorded, and those who misuse the 999 service could face prosecution, leading to a criminal record, heavy fines or even imprisonment.”
Officers are encouraging parents to discuss the issue with children, explaining the correct use of dialling 999 in an emergency, and to inform youngsters that a bogus call could seriously endanger someone’s life.
If in doubt whether to dial 999, remember the following advice:
P – Phone 999 only if
O – ffenders are nearby
L – Life is at risk
I – Injury is caused or threatened
C – Crime or disorder is in progress
E – Emergency situations
Residents are reminded that they can also dial 101 in a non-emergency situation and both numbers are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Calls to 101 from land lines and mobile networks cost 15p per call, no matter what time of day you call or how long you are on the phone.