Big drop in number of hoax calls to Essex County Fire and Rescue Service

THE number of hoax calls made to the Essex County Fire and Rescue Service (ECFRS) has almost halved in the past five years, according to latest figures.Statistics released by ECFRS show a steady decline in the number of hoax calls received, dropping from

THE number of hoax calls made to the Essex County Fire and Rescue Service (ECFRS) has almost halved in the past five years, according to latest figures.

Statistics released by ECFRS show a steady decline in the number of hoax calls received, dropping from 1599 in 2003 to 835 in 2008, a drop of 48 per cent.

Assistant Divisional Officer, Vernon Kendall, said: "Hoax calls are an unnecessary drain on the community's resources, as a service we still deal with more than three a day. The number of hoax calls we receive has been reducing year on year."

In 2004 there were a total of 1489 hoax calls, dropping to 1283 in 2005. Figures dropped again in 2006 to 1149 and dipped to 951 in 2007.


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Mr Kendall continued: "We recognise that the menace of hoax calls affects all people living within Essex and we are doing all we can to deter the hoax caller."

ECFRS actively monitors hoax calls on a daily basis and uses computers to flag multiple hoax call offenders; these phones are then disconnected.

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The service also works in close partnership with premises across Essex, where hoax calls are a problem, to develop a strategy to combat this socially unacceptable practice.

Mr Kendall explained: "We track exactly where the calls come from; this allows us to build up a pattern to show where we are most likely to receive these calls from. This allows us to focus our community work in the areas suffering from this anti social behaviour.

"The hoax call problem not only costs money, it also consumes valuable resources and it could potentially cost people's lives, because fire appliances may be sent to a hoax call and a real emergency occurs which could result in a delay in help arriving where it is needed.

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