Hoax calls to PSNI up 20 percent in Cookstown

The police car which was attacked by up to ten masked men as officers attended a hoax call in Moygashel.
The police car which was attacked by up to ten masked men as officers attended a hoax call in Moygashel.

The number of hoax calls made to the PSNI from the Cookstown district has risen by 20% in the last 12 months.

According to figures obtained by the MAIL from the PSNI, police recorded 15 hoax calls from Cookstown in 2012/13 while in 2013/14 this rose to 18.

By contrast in Magherafelt, the number of hoax calls fell by around 16%, with 18 recorded calls in 2012/13 and 15 in 2013/14.

Police have issued a stark reminder to the public about the danger of making hoax calls to emergency services.

A PSNI spokesperson said: “Police would wish to highlight that every time the emergency services receive a hoax call it means they are not available when someone could really need their help.

“All calls to an emergency service must be prioritised as and when they come in, and significant resources are spent dealing with such alerts to ensure public safety.

“Time spent dealing with hoax, silent or nuisance callers can prevent police, and other emergency services, from reaching people needing immediate assistance, ultimately putting lives in danger.

In a lot of emergencies, time is important and even a minute could be the difference between saving a life or losing one.”

The warning from police follows an incident in the Moygashel Court area of Dungannon last week in which two officers escaped uninjured after their car was attacked by up to ten masked men,

The officers were called to the area shortly before 11.00pm on Tuesday 26th August.

After their vehicle was struck the officers quickly withdrew from the area. It was later established that the initial call for assistance had been a hoax.

Condemning the attack Inspector Keith Jamieson said: “The officers were extremely fortunate to have escaped without serious injury or worse. The masonry thrown could easily have caused serious injury to the officers or members of the public. I find it frustrating and disappointing that police were targeted in this way and I would appeal to anyone who has any information about the incident to contact police.”