Hoax 999 calls warning by police follows arrest of Westbury teenager

Wiltshire Times: Operational Policing Superintendent Gavin Williams Operational Policing Superintendent Gavin Williams

Wiltshire Police have warned of the consequences of making hoax 999 calls after a teenage girl was arrested.

The 15-year-old girl from Westbury was arrested yesterday after more than 30 hoax calls were made to Wiltshire Police.

Most of the calls contained abusive and threatening language towards to control room operators.

During the course of the nuisance calls, a genuine emergency call was taken whereby a female only had a few seconds to tell Wiltshire Police her address as she was at serious risk of harm.

If that call handler had been delayed in answering this call, the consequences could have been tragic say police.

The Wiltshire force takes on average 250, 999 calls each day and only a handful of these relate to a genuine emergency.

Operational Policing Superintendent Gavin Williams said: “The time wasted on dealing with hoax calls can mean the difference between life and death for people genuinely trying to contact us.

“In general terms people should only dial 999 when they require the police on an urgent basis, where there is risk to life or property or where the offenders are still at or nearby the scene of a crime.

“If people misuse the system or make hoax 999 calls then they are preventing the police from responding to real life emergency calls, which will mean that we can’t assist those people who most need our help.

“We will always seek to apprehend those people who participate in hoax calls and bring them to justice.”

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