Devon

Hoax calls down by almost half over two years

The number of hoax calls made to Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue has almost halved over two years.

In 2012 the service dealt with 144 hoax callouts at a cost of £63,000, compared with 260 in 2011, totalling £137,000.

Paul Slaven from the service said: "We believe [the reduction] is due to education work in schools and our control staff challenge callers if they believe it to be a hoax."

Hoax callers face a £5,000 fine and could go to prison for six months.

"We have to treat every call as an emergency until it's confirmed as a hoax call," Mr Slaven said.

He said staff were working with police to convict hoax callers "wherever possible".

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