Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Police infuriated by pranksters

By Nadia Samie
26 December 2006


Emergency services, including the police, have complained that the number of prank calls they are receiving has drastically increased over the festive season, resulting in people with genuine emergencies being unable to get through to the call centres.

Capt Jabulani Mdletshe, spokesperson for the Umfolozi area, says that the upsurge in prank calls occurred at the beginning of the school holidays. He says that this is a crucial time of the year when emergency services need to be on full alert, but call centres are being plagued by pranksters.

Most of the prank calls are made from public phone booths in shopping malls, making them difficult to trace. Mdletshe says that the polices 10111 number has particularly been abused by children, who sometimes call in and verbally abuse police officers or switchboard operators.

Parents have been urged to talk to their children about the importance of the emergency numbers to prevent further increases in prank calls – which result in lost productivity from the emergency services staff who have to deal with these calls.

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