Audio: Hertfordshire Police release dramatic hoax call tape
HOAX callers are being targeted by police in an attempt to cut down on people wasting the time of the emergency services. Today (Friday) Hertfordshire Constabulary released genuine recordings of members of the public making either prank or inappropriate p
HOAX callers are being targeted by police in an attempt to cut down on people wasting the time of the emergency services.
Today (Friday) Hertfordshire Constabulary released genuine recordings of members of the public making either prank or inappropriate phone calls to 999.
The recordings are part of campaign launched this week to drive home the dangers of making such calls into the emergency services.
Superintendent Rob Henry, manager of the force's contact management centre, said: "Whether someone rings maliciously or in error, it could prevent a genuine 999 caller from getting through or divert valuable resources from a genuine emergency incident.
"Ultimately, it could endanger someone's life, and even result in a criminal conviction for the caller if the call is found to be malicious. We are strongly appealing for people to think before they call."
The recordings feature both hoax calls - where someone has phoned the police deliberately with a fake emergency - and inappropriate calls, when someone mistakenly calls 999 for the wrong reasons.
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In one example of a hoax call, a man can be heard reporting an apparent shooting or stabbing, resulting in officers being dispatched to the scene only to find out on arrival that the call was a prank.
In another, a man calls the police inappropriately and asks for a lift home.
From September 2008 to March of this year, Hertfordshire Constabulary received 2,366 hoax telephone calls and 26,783 inappropriate phone calls.