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Hoax calls are putting north-east lives at risk


By Kirsty Brown

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North-east MSPs have warned lives are being put at risk in the north-east after hundreds of hoax calls have been made to fire crews across the region.

Information obtained by the Scottish Conservatives shows 161 malicious calls were made in Aberdeen in 2019/20, totalling 6.8 percent of all alerts made to crews in the city – the highest in Scotland.

The figure compares to the previous year when 185 hoax calls were made to fire teams in Aberdeen.

In Dundee, 127 hoax calls were recorded while in Angus there were 39 false calls, 30 in Aberdeenshire and 20 in Moray during 2019/20.

Tom Mason, NE MSP
Tom Mason, NE MSP

North-east MSP Tom Mason said: “These calls are extremely dangerous, irresponsible and absolutely disgraceful.

“Every emergency call is treated as an emergency and hoax calls can take up valuable resources, putting lives at risk.

“Abusing the 999 system could mean emergency resources are dispatched to incidents when in fact they are needed elsewhere – it’s atrocious that someone would want to do this.

“Fire crews do a fantastic job and it’s vital their work isn’t hampered by this inexcusable behaviour.”

Scottish Conservative candidate for Aberdeen Donside, Harriet Cross, said: “While it is welcoming to see the number of hoax calls in Aberdeen declining, it is still the highest in Scotland in relation to the percentage of overall calls which is extremely concerning.

“Hoax calls also put additional pressure on control room staff, not only taking the calls but deploying people and equipment to deal with the incident reported, based on the information they are given.

"Every hoax call which the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service receives costs time and money; while diverting firefighters and lifesaving equipment to incidents which simply don't exist.”



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