Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 5°C

min temp: 5°C

ESTD 1874 Search

Suffolk: Hoax calls are “substantial drain” on police resources

13:36 14 November 2012

Hoax calls are costing Suffolk police a "significant amount"

Hoax calls are costing Suffolk police a "significant amount"

Archant © 2009

THOUSANDS of hoax 999 calls are causing a “substantial drain” on Suffolk police resources and diverting emergency services from where they are needed most, it can be revealed.

shares

New figures show the constabulary has received a total of 7,618 emergency calls over nearly five years at what police said was a “significant cost” to the county’s taxpayers.

Transcripts of calls made during 2011 and part of 2012, released to the East Anglian Daily Times under the Freedom of Information Act, reveal that although some calls by people with mental health problems or delusion disorders, scores more are made as jokes or after drinking.

Calls have included everything from an undetected bomb hoax and unfounded assualt claims to drunken demands for taxis and even a woman worried about her noisy cat,

Chief Superintendent David Skevington, County Police Commander in Suffolk, said: “Hoax calls are a severe misuse of the system and put people who are in need of urgent assistance from the emergency services at risk. They tie up 999 lines and divert the emergency services away from people who may be in life-threatening situations.”

He added: “They cause a substantial drain on the resources of the emergency services, and cost a significant amount of money, through the time taken to answer the call, and any emergency services that are deployed.”

The force said it was impossible to put an exact figure on the cost of calls, due to the different response required for each incident.

Ch Supt Skevington said: “The way in which hoax calls are dealt with therefore differs greatly depending on the individual circumstances of the caller.

“If the caller is suffering with issues that affect their mental health, work is carried out with their families and partner agencies to provide support where necessary.”

But he added: “Deliberate hoax calls are taken very seriously and the Constabulary will seek to charge individuals for relevant offences where necessary. Where individuals are found guilty of offences relating to hoax calling, and successfully prosecuted, they may face heavy fines, imprisonment and a criminal record.”

From 2008 to September this year there have been 24 reported crimes in relation to undetected bomb hoaxes, malicious communications and use of public communications network to send indecent/obscene/threatening/false messages.

Fourteen of the calls resulted in further action, from court summons to community resolutions.

Over the same period, 67 of the calls were treated as ‘Wasting Police time’ offences.

The figures show that during that same period the highest number of hoax calls was in 2009, when there was 2091 calls - the equivalent to nearly six a day.

A police spokesman said: “999 should be used to report a crime that is in progress or if someone is in immediate danger. To report any other crimes that are not an emergency, 101 should be used.”

Related articles

shares

0 comments

The accident happened on the A12 at Chelmsford

A man has died following a collision on the A12 southbound near Chelmsford this morning.

The advert for a consultant to work on assignment for Suffolk County Council Schools Choice traded service was posted on a number of job websites last month. Pic: David Davies/PA Wire.

A company working with Suffolk County Council to improve education standards has advertised for a £500-a-day consultant to join on a short-term basis.

The remains of a Roman Monumental Arcade, which
formed part of the gateway to Claudius Temple, has been discovered.

Experts have come across the ruins of a 120-metre-long arcade, which provided a frontage to the Temple of Claudius, in Colchester.

Inspector Julian Ditcham of the roads policing unit breath tests a motorist.

A drink-driver began doing press-ups in a desperate attempt to bring his alcohol reading down when breath-tested, a court heard.

COURT: A burglar who stole £880 of premium champagne was traced after leaving fingerprints at the scene of the crime.

An Ipswich woman accused of helping herself to £27,000 of her 25-year-old son’s money while he was in a care home has been found guilty of fraud.

Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn. Photo: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire

We British relish the chance to lampoon our political top brass... Tom Potter talks to a Suffolk satirist taking a swipe at the establishment with a stage musical

Junior Doctors Strike at Ipswich Hospital

Junior doctors at Ipswich Hospital are among those taking part in the second organised 24-hour strike in a protest over pay and conditions.

Most read

Fred Olsen Travel Sale

cover

Click here to view
the Fred Olsen
Travel Sale

View

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Streetlife

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24