Girls warned after making fake 911 calls
Two Richmond County girls were let off with a warning after making fake 911 calls over the past several weeks.
RCMP in St. Peter’s said they received 18 calls from the same deactivated cellphone between Jan. 19 and Tuesday. In most cases, the caller hung up when the 911 dispatcher answered, but in three of the calls, the person said they needed help, and the dispatcher reported hearing laughter.
St. Peter’s detachment tracked the 911 calls down to two girls from Framboise. The 12-year-old and 14-year-old were given formal cautions after police worked with the girls, their parents and the local school.
Still, Glen Byrne, commander of the RCMP operational communications centre, warned that false 911 calls take up the valuable time of first-responders and put lives at risk.
“Any cellphone, even if it’s deactivated, will call 911 if it’s charged,” Byrne said in a media release.
“We have to answer all 911 calls and the police officers on the road have to respond to them as well. The individual who was calling us was taking away valuable resources from other potential emergency situations.”
While the formal caution is an option police have under the Youth Criminal Justice Act as an alternative to laying charges, the girls could have been fined $697.50 for making false 911 calls under the Nova Scotia Emergency 911 Act.