Hoax 999 Callers to be Targeted

Hoax 999 St Helens

Do you know who’s making hoax calls?

15/10/2007 Extracted from News Release by Merseyside Fire Service

Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service has launched a new attack on hoax callers.

A web page has been introduced where people can listen to genuine hoax calls to the fire service control room to try and identify the culprits.

Anyone who recognises who is behind the call is asked to call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

The initiative has been introduced by the Fire Service’s Mobilising And Communications Centre and Threat Response Group in response to an increase in hoax calls received by operators.

This year (since January 1) there have been around 900 hoax calls to the fire service, compared to around 700 in the same period last year.

Chris Case, who heads up the Threat Response Group, said: “Malicious calls can take life-saving firefighters and appliances away from genuine incidents. We are doing all we can to tackle this issue but now we are asking for the public’s help to identify the people making these calls. We need these calls to stop before somebody is injured or killed.”

The Fire Service already has a number of schemes in place to reduce hoax calls.

New technology is making it easier for to identify the location of the caller. When a call is received in the control room, the phone number is revealed to staff and new technology is able to flag up whether this has been used to make a false call in the past. Operators can now challenge to better effect anyone on the line who they suspect is a hoax and warn them that action will be taken.

Partnerships with phone companies are now proving to be more effective, with the control room staff informing them of repeat callers resulting in major mobile networks disconnecting repeat offenders. In the last two years nearly 100 phones have been disconnected as a result of hoax calls to Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service’s control room.

Now a selection of the hoax calls from across Merseyside will be available on www.merseyfire.gov.uk.
To listen to calls from St Helens click here.
If you know who has made them, call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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