POLICE are warning youngsters of the consequences of making hoax calls after a surge in false reports in Wigan.
One youth in the Atherton area has already been cautioned for dialing 999 and Greater Manchester Police (GMP) insist those who continue to waste their time will be punished.
GMP Atherton has posted a tweet saying: “We are starting to get reports of false 999 calls again in Atherton.
“Children take note, when caught you will be brought to the police station with your parents and have to explain yourself to us and them.
“One youth has already had a caution for this offence.”
Latest figures from GMP show that the force has dealt with an average of 3,571 emergency and non-emergency calls a day during April, May and June.
This increased by 19 per cent in July. On top of this, thousands of miscellaneous calls were dealt with.
Recent calls to the 999 number include a lady who rang to report maggots in her bin, a man calling for ‘pregnancy pills’ and a man who rang to complain that somebody had stolen his car park space.
Police are reminding residents to only ring 999 if there is a direct and immediate threat to life or property, or if a crime is in progress.
For general enquiries or to report less urgent crime or disorder, people should call 101. For example, if a car has been stolen, property has been damaged or to give police information about crime.
Calls about noisy neighbours, stray dogs, graffiti, abandoned vehicles, fly-tipping or faulty traffic lights should be redirected to local councils.
Insp Liz Sanderson, of Atherton GMP, said: “Every false or inappropriate 999 call wastes precious time that could be spent dealing with genuine emergencies.
“Apart from potentially putting somebody’s life at risk, misusing the 999 system is a criminal offence and we have the power to prosecute people for making hoax calls.
“Each day we receive dozens of calls about issues that the police are not responsible for and answering these calls leads to delays in people trying to get through to us for legitimate reasons so please think first.”