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Tuesday, 4 September, 2001, 08:12 GMT 09:12 UK
Hoax callers put online
Cheshire Fire Service Website
The website features hoax callers from across Cheshire
People who make hoax telephone calls to firefighters in Cheshire are having their calls broadcast over the internet.

Cheshire Fire Service has redesigned its website to feature recordings of malicious callers.

Internet users can listen to the calls and help identify any hoaxers they may recognise.

Evan Morris, a spokesperson for Cheshire Fire Service, told BBC News Online: "They [the hoaxers] are incredibly nonchalant mainly.

"People have a pre-conception that children do this, but there are a lot of adults on there, and they are incredibly calm during their calls."

'Life-threatening'

"From our point of view this is a very serious, life-threatening act."

The website displays the 24 fire stations within the Cheshire Fire Service area, and when a user clicks on one they hear a real life hoax from that area.

"I've just walked across a footbridge by my house with my daughter and the embankment's all on fire," says one hoax caller.

"You may get another call but I have just passed a car that looks as if it might burst into flames ... it suddenly occurred to me that this car might go up," says another caller.

Mr Morris said: "The website will be up-dated on a regular basis and as we receive new hoax calls these will be added.

"The site will urge people who recognise the voices to call the police."

The website will also give people the opportunity to have a three-dimensional tour of a fire engine, listen to interviews with firefighters about incidents which they have attended, and witness the consequences of fires.

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Evan Morris, Cheshire Fire Service
"Technology has made this possible"
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