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Fire brigade warning after rise in hoax calls

Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service has issued a warning to people who make fake 999 calls after 35 were received in just two weeks.

Of the calls, 28 were hoaxes and seven were attended by crews and found to be malicious calls, as there were no signs of fire.

The hoax reports have come from across the Staffordshire area and now the fire service are warning those behind the calls.

Control Manager, Gill Irwin said:

“If someone is calling from a landline or call box, we immediately receive their location on screen. Some call boxes are also monitored by CCTV, and footage from that will be used by the Police as evidence if necessary.

“We can also trace mobile phones back to the registered owner and will activate an immediate disconnection via the phone service provider if it is found to be a hoax call. Pay as you go phones can also be de-activated via the phone service provider – we will not tolerate malicious calls.

“For every hoax call we receive there could be a person desperately trying to get out of a burning building or trapped in a car crash in urgent need of our assistance. If an appliance has attended a hoax call this means it could be delayed in responding to a genuine emergency.”

A number of the recent hoax calls have been made by children – a problem that often occurs during the school holidays.

Gill continued:

“We unfortunately always have an increase in children making hoax calls during school holidays. Sometimes they are obviously calling because they find it funny or are showing off to their friends but there are some calls that could be genuine and so we mobilise appliances to the scene which wastes time, resources and money.

“We would encourage parents to explain to their children how serious making hoax calls is, as if a child is proven to have made a hoax call it is the parents who must take responsibility.”

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