7000 hoax calls made to emergency services

Scottish Liberal Democrats Freedom of Information requests have revealed that over 7000 hoax calls have been made to the Scottish Ambulance Service since 2009.

This resulted in 3000 ambulance service resources responding to hoax calls across Scotland. In response to these figures the Scottish Liberal Democrats have called upon the Scottish Government to launch a campaign which highlights the impact hoax calls can have upon vital emergency services.

Commenting, Scottish Liberal Democrat health spokesperson Alison McInnes MSP said:

“7000 hoax calls in three years are no joke for Scotland’s emergency services. Each and every hoax call must be answered by an emergency dispatch centre. It’s an extraordinary waste of our emergency services time and resources.

“Nearly half of hoax calls were then attended to by our ambulance service. At a time when NHS resources are already stretched to the limits, many people will be disappointed to learn that each year the Scottish Ambulance Service has to attend nearly a thousand hoax call-outs. It’s unacceptable.

“Malicious hoax calls are irresponsible and dangerous as they can divert resources from genuine emergencies. It is all of our responsibility to make it clear to society that putting people’s lives at risk is no joke. The Scottish Government must also tackle this by launching a broad public awareness campaign. From talks at schools to posters in the pub we need to see a strong message which makes clear that hoax calls are dangerous, wasteful and thoughtless.”