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Call for Lichfield and Burntwood parents to help reduce hoax 999 calls

Lichfield and Burntwood parents are being asked to do their bit to cut the number of hoax 999 calls during the school holidays.

The summer school break traditionally sees a rise in hoax and inappropriate 999 calls by youngsters to Staffordshire Police. These range from teenagers making prank calls from phone boxes to young children who dial 999 while playing with a phone at home.

In July and August 2009 the force received a total of 29,047 emergency calls, compared to 27,753 in May and June of the same year.

Superintendent Dave Forrest, head of communications, said:

“Our control room staff are busy dealing with around 450 emergency calls a day, and it’s crucial that genuine 999 callers get through as quickly as possible. Prank callers can tie up our lines and delay someone who is in danger reaching us which could, ultimately, cost lives. We can take sanctions against people who misuse the 999 system and will prosecute and take people to court where appropriate.

“I would urge parents to keep an eye their children, and their phones, and make sure that youngsters have a proper understanding of when to dial 999 – and the consequences of prank calls.”

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