Dales youths warned against hoax 999 calls

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Police in Derbyshire are warning young people of the dangers of making hoax calls to emergency services.

The advice not to waste police time comes as schools prepare to break up for the summer holidays.

Officers are reminding young people that if they make repeated nuisance calls to police they could have their mobile phone blocked, their parents will be contacted and they could be prosecuted for wasting police time.

In the last year, three people have been prosecuted for making unnecessary and abusive calls to Derbyshire police with punishments including a restraining order, fines and a 12 month conditional discharge.

In June a man was issued a fixed penalty notice for making nuisance calls to police.

Chief Inspector Tracy Harrison, from the force’s contact management department, said: “Public reporting is an important part of the fight against crime and any attempt to disrupt this service will be investigated thoroughly.

“Every time someone misuses the 999 they are potentially putting others lives at risk. This is especially true when we receive a large number of nuisance calls as it could impact on how quickly other emergency calls are answered.

“This behaviour is unacceptable and we will continue to actively pursue those who make malicious calls.”

Safer Neighbourhoods officers are also visiting schools speaking to pupils about nuisance calls and also when to call 999 and when to call the non-emergency number 101.

On average, Derbyshire police receives 385 calls per day on the 999 number and around one third of these are not genuine emergencies.

You should only call 999 in a real emergency - when a crime is happening, when someone suspected of a crime is nearby or where someone is injured, being threatened or in danger.