Following a series of prank calls to the 999 number, local police are urging parents to ensure their children understand of the importance of this emergency line.
PSNI Cookstown issued the plea after several calls were made from the Cookstown/Magherafelt area.
Posting on Facebook, police said: “Whilst checking over the incidents over the weekend, it caught my eye in the Cookstown/Magherafelt area there were seven 999 calls made in this area which were young kids playing on the phones at home, one joking there was a fire, mobile phones banging about handbags, silent and dropped calls.
“Whilst our call handlers accept this sometimes happens, it’s still calls holding up the lines and impacting our ability to answer genuine calls quickly. The problem arises when the 999 operator has to check the call, phone the number back and then people panic and hang up avoiding the call.
“Meanwhile we are searching our systems, contacting mobile phone companies to get your details and sending police out to your address, because we have to check you are safe and cannot take that risk.
“Please speak with your kids about 999 calls and that these are only to be used in an Emergency. Also if someone mistakenly dials 999, please answer when we try to reach you. Its important to verify information.”