Prank calls condemned as children heard in background

A PRANK call warning has gone out after the police Force Communications Centre received over 40 such calls in a 90 minute spell during the afternoon of Friday 15 April.

Children could be heard giggling on the other side of the line.

Inspector Gordon Smith, head of the Force Communications Centre said: “The 999 system was designed to make direct contact with the blue light services when you need them most, during an emergency.

“Prank or malicious calls take up valuable police time. If our dispatchers and lines are being taken up with false calls, then the real emergencies are going unanswered. You could be involved in a serious incident and may not get through immediately if people are needlessly using the emergency lines.

“Remember the police deal with a variety of serious incidents, including assaults and road collisions. Prank 999 calls could cause unnecessary delay in responding to such incidents, with preventable tragic consequences.

“Misuse of a public communications system is also an offence which may result in the caller being prosecuted and the telephone being disconnected or confiscated.

“We would urge parents to advise their children to use the 999 number only in a real emergency. The police can be contacted for non-emergency matters on 0845-600-5701”