Hoax 999 calls continue to rise, says Suffolk Police

SUFFOLK police have warned lives could be put at risk as new figures reveal hoax 999 calls have risen by 30pc over a three-year period.

Timewasters and pranksters were responsible for making 1,284 calls to the constabulary during 2009/10, compared to 910 in 2007/08.

One person alone is believed to have made 196 calls during last year.

Head of Suffolk police's operations room, Chief Inspector Mike Bacon, said: 'Hoax calls divert emergency services away from people who genuinely need our help. They have a huge impact on resources so we take this type of crime very seriously and will work with other agencies to identify those responsible and bring them to justice.

'All calls to the police service are recorded and investigators can trace the call which can then be used as evidence to prosecute offenders.

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'Making a 999 hoax call is against the law, is a waste of precious time and resources and could ultimately put someone's life at risk.

'Hoax calls may seem like harmless fun, but they can result in loss of life as resources can be diverted away from another incident which requires our attention.'

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During 2008/09 Suffolk Constabulary received 1,102 hoax 999 calls illustrating the rise throughout the last three years. However, this figure did not include 7,953 calls made by an elderly woman from the Babergh area who was suffering from mental health issues.

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