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Hoax callers are putting lives at risk, warn police
HOAX 999 calls have been made in Runcorn claiming that crimes were taking police.
Cheshire Police warns pranksters they could be putting lives at risk.
Sergeant Iain Hannan, of Runcorn Neighbourhood Policing Unit, said: "Hoax calls waste the time of the emergency services and could cost lives. What initially might seem like a bit of harmless fun could potentially compromise the response of the emergency services for someone genuinely in need of our help.
"This sort of behaviour is unacceptable and any abuse of the 999 system will not be tolerated. We will do all we can to trace those responsible for this type of behaviour and ensure they are dealt with appropriately. All calls made to the emergency services are recorded and traceable."
A number of hoax calls were recently made to Cheshire Police from a phone box in the Halton Lodge area of Runcorn.
The caller dialled 999 and claimed to be reporting crimes that were taking place, including assaults and criminal damage. In some cases, police officers were deployed to deal with these incidents.
On other occasions the caller was extremely abusive to the call taker.
Following enquiries, local officers traced two 15-year-old boys, who admitted making the calls.
One was subsequently issued with a formal caution and the other was issued with a final warning.
Sgt Hannan added: "We hope the teens have learned their lesson and that the intervention taken will help them to understand the impact of their actions.
"We hope that cases like this make people think twice before picking up the phone and making a hoax call − people need to realise the potential impact of their actions.
"The people of Halton can rest assured that time wasters will end up paying the price for their actions."