Spate of prank calls a concern



GLADSTONE police have had a spate of prank emergency calls recently and yesterday warned residents the ramifications were serious.

Criminal Investigation Branch (CIB) Detective Sergeant Troy Lehmann said two children and an adult had been dealt with in the past week.

He estimated the police station would receive about two hoax 000 calls a month.

"We've had a couple of serious prank calls lately,'' Det Sgt Lehmann said.

"They all have to be taken seriously.

"000 calls are given priority above everything else.''

Each hoax call took up valuable police time and could mean other residents with legitimate concerns suffered.

"There could be a life-threatening call elsewhere that can't be attended,'' Det Sgt Lehmann said.

A hoax phone call attracted a possible sentence of three years imprisonment and each call was considered an offence.

Det Sgt Lehmann also warned that while police may not attend to the offender immediately, the caller would be traced.

"It may take us a day or two,'' Det Sgt Lehmann said.

"But they're still making calls.

"Each call is a separate offence.''

Det Sgt Lehmann said not only did the offenders take up police time responding to the call but also investigating and tracing the caller.

"They tie up our resources and stop us doing other investigations,'' Det Sgt Lehmann said.

Juvenile Aid Bureau (JAB) Detective Sergeant Joe Nixon said it was important residents including children, realised that 000 was for emergency calls only.

The adult charged this week for recent 000 calls is due to appear in Gladstone Magistrates Court this week.



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