BT Payphones has launched a campaign to cut the number of hoax 999 calls made from phone boxes.

BT has created a poster and education campaign to highlight the impact of hoax 999 calls on real emergencies and urge people to think twice before they dial 999.
In the UK last year, nearly half of the 2.6 million emergency calls made from BT phone boxes were hoaxes. There were 1,778 calls made in Essex alone, they are an unnecessary drain on the Emergency Services budget (the 72,000 calls made to the UK fire service alone last year cost £29 million) and more importantly they slow the service down when required to attend a real emergency.
We are launching the campaign now to urge youngsters to stop and think about the consequences before they dial 999. People who make hoax calls must be made to realise that they are committing a criminal offence and their actions endanger the lives of people who require an emergency response. Research conducted by BT Payphones shows that while malicious calls are a problem for all the emergency services, it is the fire service that is most affected. BT has worked closely with fire services across the UK to identify the areas suffering the highest level of hoax calls. This has included highlighting the individual phone boxes most frequently used to make hoax emergency calls.
Some young people may think that hoax calling is a good dare or a fun game - in reality it can cost lives. BT Payphones will be monitoring changes in hoax call levels from the black spots during the campaign period.
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