Hoax calls

Hoax calls can lead to emergency services being diverted away from people who really need help.

A hoax or malicious call is when a person deliberately telephones the emergency services and tells them there is an emergency when there is not.

Hoax calls divert the emergency services away from people who maybe in life threatening situations and who need urgent help. This can mean the difference between life and death for someone in trouble.

The emergency services treat hoax calls as if they were genuine calls. There is a real danger that the public and emergency service workers could be injured or even killed if they had an accident while responding to a call. Fines and imprisonment Any person who makes a hoax call is breaking the law. They can be taken to court and may face a fine or even be sent to prison.

Tracking a hoax caller

All calls to the emergency services are tape recorded and the number of the telephone being used to make the call is displayed to the emergency operator. It only takes a few seconds for the operator to find out the address of where the call is being made from and this can be given to the police if a hoax call has been made. Other facilities such as CCTV can, and are used to detect offenders.

Last reviewed
03 February 2014

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