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999 hoax calls made to Somerset emergency services this year
11:30am Monday 16th December 2013 in Chard
A WOMAN dialled 999 because she forgot her address – one of hundreds of ‘timewasting’ calls made to the emergency services in Somerset in the past year.
Avon and Somerset police were also called by a man who just played music down the line to the operator.
Another woman called the police because items had been moved from her loft which she was not happy about and her husband advised her to call the emergency services.
Police, who received 218,811 calls via the 999 system in the past year, also investigated 192 hoax calls between September 1 last year and August 31.
A spokesman said: “Hoax calls are detrimental to the service we provide to the community. “There are over 3,500 calls into the force each day, using both 999 and 101, and even a small percentage of hoax or misuse calls will have an impact on the time spent dealing with them by our call handlers and our officers.”
The force says it will have received a substantially higher number of ‘time-wasting’ calls but does not record each one.
Meanwhile, Devon and Somerset firefighters received 324 malicious calls in the year from October 2012, of which they attended 170.
A spokesman said: “Attending hoax calls increases the potential for our fire engines being in the wrong place at a time when they could be needed for real fires or rescues, hence putting lives at risk.
“The consequences could be dire. Not only are they putting people’s lives at risk, they’re wasting taxpayers' money for the fire service to attend false alarms.”
The number of hoax calls to the fire service has fallen – 391 were made in 2011-12 and 412 in 2010-11.
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