Unfortunately, the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service, along with other emergency services throughout Northern Ireland, receives many hoax calls. Our evidence suggests that the majority of hoax calls in the UK as a whole are made by children, though, shockingly, a lot are made by adults as well.
Hoax calls can be classified in several different ways:
- Hoax/malicious call: where the emergency service has been called to an incident that does not exist
- False call: possibly a child playing with the telephone
- Genuine error: possibly where the number 9 has been repeatedly pressed, incorrectly
- Silent calls: the caller does not speak but holds up the line
Hoax calls are time wasting for front line and Control staff that have to investigate the calls, and make it dangerous for the public as a whole. They are a waste of precious time, resources and put lives at risk.
When an ambulance is away from your local ambulance station responding to a hoax call, you may have a real life emergency to deal with, with no ambulances available to help you.
In all emergency situations, time is vital, and people’s lives could be put in danger because of a hoax call.
Making a hoax call to the emergency services is a criminal offence. You can be taken to Court because of it and may face paying a large fine.
When you dial 999 for the Ambulance Service, be it from your mobile phone, your landline telephone, or even a telephone kiosk, the number you are calling from is displayed. The Police can trace ALL calls made to 999, even if you dial 141 before you call, we can still get your details.