Hoax caller phones Cambridgeshire police to rant about icebergs
A caller who dialled 999 to shout about icebergs was one of a number of nuisance calls received by Cambridgeshire police this week.
Since Sunday, the force has received a total of 17 hoax, fake and nuisance calls, Now officers are urging residents to only call 999 in a genuine emergency, as hoax calls could put lives at risk.
Along with the call about icebergs, the calls have included giggling children, people swearing at call handlers, and a man who dropped his phone.
A spokesman for Cambridgeshire police said: “How would you feel if a member of your family was unable to get the help they required because the police, fire or ambulance services had been called away on a hoax call?
“All calls to the emergency services are recorded and we can always trace the number, even if the call is made from a withheld number or public phone box. If you are found to be making a hoax call you could be fined or even sent to prison.
“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.
“Misusing the 999 system and dialing it for non-emergency matters to report crimes or emergencies that do not exist can cost lives.
“Inappropriate calls slow down our response to genuine emergencies by tying up an operator. This stops genuine callers getting help and places the lives of others at risk.
“If you know someone who has made a hoax call to us, please contact us by using our webchat facility, which can be accessed on teh Cambridgeshire Police website. If the webchat is unavailable call us on 101.
“Please make sure you provide as much information as possible. If you want to remain anonymous you can provide details through the independent charity Crimestoppers-UK.”
The force also gave advice to parents to stop youngsters calling the service.
The spokesman said; “It is important you speak to children about the serious dangers of making a hoax call. Some children do not realise the danger they are placing others in and may see it as part of a practical joke.
“Your children need to be aware that if they make hoax calls they are endangering other people’s lives.”