We store cookies on your device to make sure we give you the best experience on this website. I'm fine with this - Turn cookies off
Switch to an accessible version of this website which is easier to read. (requires cookies)

3,140 local hoax calls in three years putting lives at risk, Lib Dems warn

October 26, 2020 6:10 PM
By Rugby Lib Dems

Carie-AnneRugby Liberal Democrats have warned malicious calls to the ambulance service is putting lives at risk as they reveal 3,140 hoax calls have been made across West Midlands Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust over the last three years.

Figures uncovered by the Liberal Democrats under freedom of information reveals there have been 23,942 hoax calls recorded by nine out of England's ten ambulance services in the last three years.

West Midlands Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust:

  • 2017 - 454
  • 2018 - 1528
  • 2019 - 1158

The UK Government must do more to ensure ambulance services have the resources they need to educate people over the dangers that malicious calls pose.

Commenting, Councillor Carie-Anne Dumbleton (Rokeby & Overslade), said:

"The Coronavirus crisis is an unprecedented threat. It is leaving the most vulnerable in our communities at risk and people are rightly worried about their loved ones.

"Anyone who maliciously calls for an ambulance is putting lives in danger. An ambulance that is diverted to a hoax is one that is unavailable to save a life elsewhere.

"The people in our ambulance service are putting their lives on the line every single day to protect us. In turn, we have a moral obligation to do all we can to protect them."

The table atttached here details the number of hoax calls in 2017, 2018 and 2019, broken down by Ambulance Service.

The law:

Hoax calls are illegal under Section 49 of the Fire and Rescue Services Act 2004 which states that: 'A person commits an offence if he knowingly gives or causes to be given a false alarm of fire to a person acting on behalf of a fire and rescue authority'.

Where that person is found guilty of this offence, in England and Wales they will be liable to a fine of up to £2,500, imprisonment of up to 51 weeks or both.

In England and Wales, a person who uses a public electronic communications network in order to cause annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety, may also be issued with a fixed penalty notice for disorder of £80 under the penalty notice for disorder scheme provided for by section 1-11 of the Criminal Justice and Police Act 2001.