Girls warned af­ter mak­ing fake 911 calls

Cape Breton Post - - CAPE BRETON - BY CAPE BRETON POST STAFF

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.

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