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Cops issues warning in bid to rescue hoax calls

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: March 21, 2014

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POLICE chiefs are looking to continue a crackdown on hoax and abusive calls.

Alan Charles, police and crime commissioners for Derbyshire, joined forces with senior officers in a bid to maintain efforts to keep the number of nuisance calls to a minimum.

The campaign has come to the fore in recent weeks after a youngster in Hilton was handed a warning after making a series of hoax 999 calls.

“Nuisance like this not only wastes valuable police time but might also lead to delays in dealing with genuine emergencies,” Mr Charles said.

Already this year two court cases, two fixed penalties, a caution and eight warning letters have been instigated against abusive and hoax callers.

Recent calls to the force have included people claiming to have issues with their phone companies, and some who have found animals in their garden.

Officers are reminding young people that if they make repeated nuisance calls to police they could have their mobile phone blocked, their parents will be contacted and they could be prosecuted for wasting police time.

Chief Inspector Tracy Harrison, from Derbyshire Police’s contact management department, said: “Public reporting is an important part of the fight against crime and any attempt to disrupt this service will be investigated thoroughly.

“Every time someone misuses the 999 number they are potentially putting others’ lives at risk.

“This is especially true when we receive a large number of nuisance calls, as it could impact on how quickly other emergency calls are answered.

“This behaviour is unacceptable and we will continue to actively pursue those who make malicious calls.”

Safer Neighbourhood officers are also visiting schools speaking to pupils about nuisance calls, and advising them when to call 999 and when to call the non-emergency number 101.

Derbyshire Police receives 385 calls per day on the 999 number and around a third of these are not genuine.

People should only call 999 in a real emergency – when a crime is happening or when someone suspected of a crime is nearby.

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