Published: 14:20, 05 August 2021
| Updated: 15:53, 05 August 2021
A call made to 999 claiming a person had fallen from a cliff and sparked a huge emergency response was a hoax, a police spokesman has confirmed.
Four fire engines, a technical response unit, police officers and paramedics were all called to The Leas, Minster, at around 4pm after reports a person was in danger.
The force headed to the scene with the other emergency services alongside the Maritime and Coastguard Agency to search for the suspected casualty.
A spokesman said: "Kent Fire and Rescue Service was called at 4.12pm to The Leas in Minster following reports a person had fallen.
"Police, SECAmb and the HM Coastguard were all in attendance.
"Crews assisted with searching the area, however no persons were found."
One eyewitness said: “It was very busy. I don’t actually know what was going on but it’s the most rescue personnel I’ve seen at once. There was a helicopter flying round for 30 minutes but it’s gone now.”
After around two hours looking for someone the search was called off and the incident was thought to be a hoax call.
The police have since come out and criticised the person behind the hoax as putting others at risk.
Swale community safety unit inspector Joel Mitchell said: "Making hoax calls to the emergency services puts others at risk who genuinely need assistance by diverting resources away from incidents where life is in danger or a crime is being committed.
"Making hoax calls and false reports is a serious matter and can constitute a criminal offence. Kent Police records all the calls to the Force Control Room and this can be used as evidence in court."