Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Hanging Up on Hoaxers

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Hanging Up on Hoaxers

Article excerpt

Byline: Ron Livingstone

Hoaxers using their mobiles to make false 999 fire calls are being cut off - at a rate of more than six a month.

In a hard-hitting fightback against those who put lives at risk by making malicious calls, Cleveland Fire Brigade and the mobile phone companies have joined forces to tackle the menace.

A total of 77 mobile phone hoaxers have had their phones cut off in the past 12 months across Teesside.

And in another weapon in the brigade's armoury, 300 would-be hoaxers have been challenged by the control room operators and warned that if they continue the call they face prosecution, as well as having their phone blocked.

Mick Bolster, Cleveland Fire Brigade community safety officer, said that more than 400 hoax calls have been made from mobiles in the past 12 months.

"Any mobile phone call to the control room registers a code, which tells us who the airtime provider is - including O2, Orange, Vodafone and Virgin. …

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