Disclosure Details

Hoax calls - 387/13

Dated: 23 May 2013

Date of request:     13/05/2013

Date of response:   23/05/2013

Provision of information held by Northumbria Police made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the 'Act')(FOIA)

Thank you for your email dated 13 May  2013 in which you made a request for access to certain information which may be held by Northumbria Police.

As you may be aware the purpose of the Act is to allow a general right of access to information held by a Public Authority (including the Police), subject to certain limitations and exemptions.

You asked: 

  1. The number of hoax* 999 calls made to Northumbria Police reporting incidents in the Sunderland area during 2011.

  2. The number of hoax 999 calls made to Northumbria Police reporting incidents in the Sunderland area during 2012.

  3. The number of people from Sunderland arrested in relation to making hoax 999 calls (to any emergency service) during 2012.

  4. Five different examples of the types of hoax calls that were made. (eg reporting  a fire/car crash).
    *hoax refers to calls made reporting incdents which were later discovered not to have happened or when someone had deliberately misinformed the 999 service.

In response:

We have now had the opportunity to fully consider your request and I provide a response for your attention.

Following receipt of your request, searches were conducted with the Communications Department of Northumbria Police. I can confirm that the information you have requested is held by Northumbria Police.

I have today decided to disclose the located information to you as follows.

16 arrests in connection with the 390 incidents at question 2 above.
As below:
Caller complaining about their ex partner. When investigated, the details given by the caller relate to a deceased person.
Call reporting a drunken coach driver. Resources deployed to intercept the coach. Driver was sober, but did report having had an argument with a couple of passengers.
Caller reporting trouble outside the address with people kicking their door. Handled as an emergency call and further similar calls by same caller before officers arrived. Officers on scene within 2 minutes. Nothing ongoing. Drunken caller.
Very common type is someone ringing 999 from a telephone box and then not speaking. As the location is always known, police officers attend in case there is an emergency (occasionally they find that there is someone there and they are too ill or injured to speak), but on the majority of occasions, the phone handset is off the hook and there is no one there.
Caller reporting trouble with racist youths. When officers attended caller was too drunk to remember making the call.

The information we have supplied to you is likely to contain intellectual property rights of Northumbria Police.  Your use of the information must be strictly in accordance with the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 (as amended) or such other applicable legislation.  In particular, you must not re-use this information for any commercial purpose.

How to complain

If you are unhappy with our decision or do not consider that we have handled your request properly and we are unable to resolve this issue informally, you are entitled to make a formal complaint to us under our complaints procedure which can be found at: http://www.northumbria.police.uk/foi/disclosurelog/foicomprights.asp

If you are still unhappy after we have investigated your complaint and reported to you the outcome, you may complain directly to the Information Commissioner’s Office and request that they investigate to ascertain whether we have dealt with your request in accordance with the Act.


FOI Complaint Rights Procedure_tcm4-67103