Hoax 999 suspect arrested while on phone to police

A suspected hoax 999 caller got a shock last week when police officers traced his mobile phone to an address in the Black Country.

The force contact centre took an emergency call at 3.49am from a man claiming to be witnessing a gang harvesting a cannabis factory and moving plants into a waiting vehicle at an address in Tividale. The police helicopter was asked to fly over the address to check for any suspicious activity and a response vehicle also deployed. 

All was quiet in the cul-de-sac which led an astute call handler to suggest the report may be linked to other malicious calls the team had taken in recent weeks.

The phone used was swiftly traced to a property in Tividale and police dog handler PC Gez Cotter, who was in the area on night-time patrols alongside canine partner PD Ellis, was diverted to the property to make enquiries. As the door was opened, he found a man inside the address - still on the line to a police call handler!

A 25-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of malicious communications and wasting police time. He remains in police custody for questioning. Police Contact Centre Manager, Chief Inspector Kristian Starynskyj, said:

“We believe the man has a liking for giving the police and other emergency services the run-around. It’s totally unacceptable. People like this clog up our phone lines and divert resources away from genuine emergencies where people may be in desperate need of help.

“Anyone who makes hoax calls needs to prepare themselves for spending time in a police cell…  and potentially a prison cell. We won’t tolerate malicious callers.”


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