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Early on the morning of the 6th of August, South Central Ambulance Service received two worrying calls to Shore Road, in Hythe, of potential serious medical emergencies.
The first call came in at 00:53 to reports of someone who had fallen and broken their leg. At 01:27 a second call was received to report someone had been stabbed.
The crew were on scene quickly and on the crew’s arrival discovered they were not ‘real’ emergencies at all. Three teenagers/ young men in a tent on the beach were making hoax calls to the emergency services and when challenged said they were 'just having a laugh mate'.
Additional resources (a BASICs doctor andan ambulance) were being dispatched at the time of the second call; however the crew on scene were able to stand them down.
The Police were called and all three were arrested on suspicion of wasteful employment of emergency services.
A 14 year old male and a 20 year old male were both arrested but released with no further action. A 16 year old male was arrested and charged and bailed for making false and malicious calls. He appeared before the Southampton Youth Court on 19 August 2010.
Rob Kemp, Head of Operations said
"This is a blatant disregard for the important work of the emergency services. Patients who genuinely need us could experience a delay in the ambulancearriving as a result of us attending people who did not need our assistance.
"At the time of the hoax calls other calls were received in the Waterside/Southampton area whose response may have been affected.
"In addition to the risk to life it also costs approximately £257 to respond to an emergency call.
"This money can be better spent on those people with real life threatening emergencies. This is a clear indication of why if you make hoax calls we will pursue a prosecution where possible."
New Forest District Chief Inspector Gary Cooper said:
"Anyone making false or malicious calls to the emergency services is totally irresponsible as they take vital and limited resources away from real emergencies where life is genuinely at risk. When this happens, we will always support prosecution for wasting time."