Page last updated at 09:15 GMT, Monday, 23 February 2009

Adult 999 fire hoaxers targeted


The video depicts a hoax caller using his mobile phone to film the fire service leaving the station

A fire service is launching a campaign to try to stop around 1,000 hoax calls it receives from adults every year.

South Wales Fire and Rescue Service's 'Blood on Your Hands' campaign features a short film which shows what can happen when a hoax call is made.

A fire service spokeswoman said it was "shocking" that adults make the calls.

She said: "I think the surprising element of this campaign and the interesting aspect is that grown men and women are making these calls."

She added: "As our head of fire control pointed out, if you get an emergency call from an adult you tend to believe they will be genuine."

Fire stations will also distribute posters to pubs and clubs and a new website,, will have examples of hoax calls received.

The campaign's film has been shot in the style that might appear on the video-sharing website YouTube.

It shows a hoaxer making a call, then filming a fire engine leaving the station on his mobile.

Moments later he sees a road crash and has to make a second call to report a real emergency and the operator is not sure whether to believe him.

The fire service says hoax calls put people's lives in danger.

Its website said: "Firefighters must respond to every emergency call that is made.

"If they arrive at an address and find out that it's a hoax, it may delay them in attending a serious emergency incident, where they may be needed to rescue someone trapped in a house fire or road traffic collision."

South Wales fire service said it had 929 hoax callers over 12 months to the end of March last year, each one costing around 650 to attend.

The service said all calls to its control room are recorded and can be traced, even calls from public phone boxes and mobile phones.

It said even the 141 code cannot be used to hide the number when dialling 999.

A Crimestoppers appeal using firefighters from Ely fire station in Cardiff has also been filmed.

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