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Hundreds of hoax calls made to Kent Police


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Lives were put at risk as hundreds of hoax calls were made to police in Kent last year.

The latest figures show the force's 999 service was maliciously targeted 439 times during 2019, with officers saying each one could have had potentially devastating consequences.

More than 3,100 hoax calls have be to Kent Police in the last five years
More than 3,100 hoax calls have be to Kent Police in the last five years

In total 3,137 hoax calls have been made to police in the last five years and although the number has nearly halved in that time, officers say a significant number of people continue to abuse the 999 service.

Kent Police's chief superintendent, Adam Ball, said: "The vast majority of 999 calls are made with good intent to report emergency incidents where a crime is in progress or someone is in danger.

"We actively encourage people to continue to use this emergency service, however, those making hoax calls are putting lives at risk.

"It often means that our resources are diverted away from incidents where life is in danger or a crime is being committed.

"Every call made to Kent Police is recorded and can be used as evidence in court.

"Whilst each incident is judged on its own merits, anyone found to be intentionally wasting police time risks prosecution and we've had success in bringing those people to justice.

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"There are now more ways than ever to report non-urgent crimes to Kent Police, which include calling 101 or reporting incidents online at www.kent.police.uk."

Police believe the proactive work they do to identify support for individuals making hoax calls has been responsible for a reduction in the figures.

Supt Ball added: "Kent Police assesses each hoax call and actively works with partners to identify whether supportive intervention is more appropriate in favour of prosecution.

"Individuals are then provided with the support they need to prevent further incidents from taking place."

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