1. ITV Report

Lives put in danger by prank calls

A high number of hoax calls were made to Hampshire Police Photo: ITV Meridian

Emergency services say lives are being put in danger by hoax 999 calls - particularly from children.

Hampshire Police and South Central Ambulance Service are urging parents to know what their children are up to following a number of prank 999 calls made yesterday.

In one case, a call was made at around 6.15pm saying that a man was going into cardiac arrest at a house on Woodmill Lane, Southampton.

Several police and ambulance units arrived at the address but found no trace of such a man.

Police now believe the hoax call was made by a 12-year-old child and the matter is being investigated further.

In a joint statement Chief Inspector Darren Miller from Hampshire Constabulary and Mark Ainsworth South Central Ambulance Service Operations Director (Hampshire) said: 'We will always look to protect life and each hoax call we receive puts in danger those people reporting a real emergency.

'Together, we committed significant resources in responding to this call and it was immensely frustrating for all involved when it turned out not to be genuine. The police will be speaking to the parents of the child in this case.

'We’d say to all parents make sure you know what your children are up to. If they have a mobile phone, check who’re they’re calling. If they’re found to be making false and malicious calls, they could be committing a criminal offence.

'Already today, the police have received approximately 50 abandoned 999 calls. Some of them are genuine, but the ones which aren’t divert valuable resources and make it more difficult to respond to those people who really need our help.'

If you have information about people making hoax calls to the emergency services, you can report it to Hampshire Constabulary on 101 or the anonymous Crimestoppers charity on 0800 555 111.