Quote: Originally Posted by Risus
Only in the states!!!
no m8 it happens here too
300 hoax 999 calls made in one week
From the archive, first published Wednesday 13th Apr 2005.
Police and paramedics are searching for hoax callers who put lives at risk by making a spate of 999 calls in Oxfordshire.
It is believed two people used three mobile phones to make the 300 prank calls last week, which coincided with the first week of the school holidays.
They reported fake burglaries to the police, called ambulance crews to different addresses, and were abusive to control staff.
Thames Valley Police and Oxfordshire Ambulance Trust have joined forces to warn that they will take legal action against anyone found making malicious calls, which are illegal. With one week of the school holidays to go, they are also advising parents to make sure their children understand the consequences of making hoax calls.
Thames Valley Police said fake calls prevented people who need real assistance from getting through for help.
On Sunday, April 3, officers received 206 hoax calls from two mobile phone numbers, which they think were made by the same person.
A second person, using another mobile, is thought to have been responsible for a further 70 false 999 calls on the following three days.
Chief Supt Shaun Morley, head of the police's control rooms and inquiries department, said: "We will fully investigate any reports of hoax calls.
"We can trace numbers and prosecutions will be pursued.
"We're aware that similar hoax calls have been received by both fire and ambulance over the past fortnight and our investigations are continuing.
"It's important people realise that what could seem a harmless joke could result in a serious criminal conviction or could endanger someone's life."
Officers are now investigating the calls, including another 70 made to paramedics within 24 hours, which they believe came from the Headington area of Oxford.
Oxfordshire Ambulance Trust deals with 100 to 150 999 requests every day, and assistant director of operations Stephen Clinton said ambulances were not sent to the fake emergencies.
He said: "The fact that someone thinks it is appropriate or funny to dial 999 when they clearly don't need our services is absolutely appalling.
"They're stopping genuine callers from getting through, stopping our staff from helping those in life-threatening situations and wasting the time of our trained call handlers."
'Bored' teenager escapes jail over deadly hoax 999 call
Ian Paterson, 17, called the fire brigade on June 29 because he was "bored", and reported a fake warehouse fire "for a laugh".
But as firefighters made their way to the scene, one of the fire engines was in collision with a car, killing the driver, Nicola Stacey, 36.
Her 10-year-old daughter Lauren, who was seriously injured and remains in a high dependency unit in hospital, has still not been told that her mother is dead.
District judge John Foster said the case was "one of the worst" he had dealt with in seven years on the bench, with "every sort of conceivable aggravating feature" and denounced the fact that a custodial sentence was not an option open to him.
He told Paterson: "It seems to me as a result of your actions someone has lost their life and a young child has been seriously hurt.
"Our court can impose no penalty which would have given to that unfortunate lady's family any succour.
"What has frankly astonished me is that the powers that I have to deal with a case of this sort are so limited.
"Parliament has declared that if you were an adult of 18 you could have been sent to prison but for a maximum of three months only.
"But you are not 18, you are 17. You richly deserve to lose your liberty for a significant period of time but because you are 17 and because the maximum sentence is three months I can't send you to custody. That's the fact of the matter, that's the law."
Judge Foster, sitting at Doncaster youth court, said the only sentence available to him was a referral order, which he imposed for the maximum period of 12 months, meaning Paterson must attend meetings with two youth workers to address his behaviour.
Paterson, who admitted three offences of making a false report to the fire service, was also given an Anti-Social Behaviour Order for three years.
The court heard that Paterson, who is homeless, was sleeping in a car at a garage in Rotherham when he made the fatal call which led to the tragedy at Attercliffe Common, Sheffield.
The prosecutor, Mark Hughes, said that when Paterson was arrested: "He said he was alone, got bored and phoned the fire brigade for a laugh. He said he got a buzz from making the call."
The teenager had earlier admitted making three hoax calls and was kept in custody for reasons which included his own protection.
He had been told he could not live at the family home and was on police bail for an alleged burglary at his parents' home at the time.
Police managed to trace the number of the mobile from which the hoax calls were made and found the phone in the youth's possession.
When he was arrested he said: "I'm sorry, I'm sorry. I just phoned the fire brigade."
The court heard the fire service call handler was suspicious of his emergency call but the teenager said he was not making it up as his grandmother had died as the result of a hoax call.
Gill Page, for the teenager, said he had admitted making the calls immediately at the scene and when interviewed by police and was contrite about what happened.