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Knowsley Crime and Communities Team

Consequences of making hoax 999 calls

by Jonathan Kearney

Three young people in Knowsley have been issued with a warning after making a hoax 999 call.

The young people, aged between 11 and 12, had their mobile phone number traced after making the hoax call to Police.

One has entered into an Acceptable Behaviour Agreement (ABA), while the other two have been issued with warning letters.

Knowsley’s Crime and Communities team issued the ABA, which can lead further enforcement action if breached.

Hoax 999 calls use up valuable resources and slow down responses to genuine emergencies, potentially putting the lives of others at risk.

All calls to the emergency services are recorded and can be traced even if the call is made from a withheld number.

Misuse of 999 and hoax calls are a criminal offence.  You could face a maximum penalty of up to six months in prison or a fine of £5,000.

Local Policing Inspector for Knowsley, Mark Berry, said: “Hoax calls put lives at risk and are a costly and wasteful use of resources.

“Not only do these calls show a lack of respect for the emergency services, but responding to false calls can divert our staff from genuine emergencies, where people need us most.

“The courts take incidents like these very seriously, so it’s important that parents and caregivers have the conversation with young people about what the consequences could be for all involved. We don’t want young people ending up in court over what they, mistakenly, thought was a harmless prank.”