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Kent emergency services dealing with hundreds of hoax calls

Hoax callers in Kent are placing people in danger, says a top police officer.

Chief superintendent Nicola Faulconbridge made the comments after figures revealed the number of bogus calls being made in 2016.

It followed a Freedom of Information request to Kent Police and Kent Fire and Rescue Service.

Hoax calls have gone down but are still in the hundreds
Hoax calls have gone down but are still in the hundreds

Data from Kent Police shows 732 nuisance calls were recorded in 2016, 86 fewer than 2015's figure of 818.

It is also the lowest number since 2012 when 1,404 hoax calls passed through the force's control room.

The area with the highest number of hoax calls recorded for Kent Police in 2016 was Medway with 159, followed by Thanet with 115 and Canterbury with 61.

At the lower end of the chart for the year was Tunbridge Wells with 13 and Sevenoaks with 20.

Although the number of hoaxes recorded fell Ms Faulconbridge warned: "People who choose to make hoax calls put others at risk by diverting resources away from incidents where life is in danger or a crime is being committed.

"Those responsible risk being prosecuted for their actions, with every call made to Kent Police recorded and available as evidence in court.

"While we will not tolerate those who intentionally seek to waste police time, we are also mindful of the need to consider each incident on its own merits.

"The majority of 999 calls we receive are made with good intent to report genuine incidents and we continue to encourage people to use this service in an emergency."

Meanwhile Kent Fire and Rescue Service reported significantly lower numbers of hoax calls over 2016.

The figure stood at 219, 66 fewer than 2015's number of 285.

The highest number of hoax calls made to firefighters in 2016 was 55 in Maidstone and then 33 in Shepway.

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