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Cornwall fire control takes 17 hoax calls in ONE day

Cornwall fire control takes 17 hoax calls in ONE day

Published by Emma Carton at 7:14am 21st May 2018. (Updated at 9:04am 21st May 2018)

Cornish firefighters deal with 17 hoax calls in one day

It has emerged Cornwall's fire control room handled 17 hoax calls in just one day.

They came through on the same day as the blaze at a popular hotel in Newquay.

Officials say no firefighters were actually scrambled but warn hoaxes are illegal.

Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service said "think twice before a silly prank puts someone else's life in danger".

Despite tweeting this warning on Sunday, it would seem the control room received another five hoax calls.

Sue James is in charge of Environment and Public Protection at Cornwall Council.

She said: "Operators treat every call as if it were serious until they are certain it is not.

"Skilled Fire Service control operators realised the calls yesterday were a hoax so no appliances were mobilised, reducing the waste of resources and the risk crews would be delayed attending a real emergency".

What happens when control gets a hoax call?

Making hoax calls is illegal. People can be prosecuted for making hoax calls with a fine of up to £5,000 or six months in prison.

All 999 calls made to the Critical Control Centre are recorded and can be instantly traced back to the caller. This doesn't just apply to land lines; even calls from public phone boxes and mobile phones are taped and could be traced. Even dialling the prefix '141' will not block your identification when making a 999 call.

What is the warning?

Sue James added: "People don't always think about the consequences of their irresponsible actions.

"In the worst case scenario, a hoax call endangers lives and can cause serious harm to property. Anyone thinking it's funny or just a prank should think again.

"The Fire and Rescue Service knows the phone number of all callers and has a recording of their voice so can and will report hoax calls to the police to investigate".

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