Shocking CCTV footage shows a teenager staging a fake motorbike crash, sparking a huge 999 response that could have risked the lives of others.
Police, fire and ambulance crews all attended and closed the road for over an hour whilst a multi-agency approach was conducted after the apparent casualty pretended to slip in and out of consciousness – but the 19-year-old was simply wasting the time and resource of three emergency services.
The CCTV captures a driver stopping in Botany Avenue in Mansfield after spotting a man underneath a motorbike.
Emergency services were called and the teenager was strapped to a stretcher and taken to hospital with what appeared to be life-altering injuries.
The teenager told medics that he could not feel his legs or the entire right side of his body – but he had made the whole thing up.
Whilst trying to establish the cause of the apparent crash on 1 May this year, CCTV was discovered that showed the teenager, from Chesterfield, wheeling his bike into the middle of the road and crawling underneath it.
The teenager was interviewed and it wasn’t until he was shown the CCTV that he admitted he had lied about the whole incident.
PC Gareth James, who investigated the incident, said: “This was perceived as a very serious incident when reported and has wasted hours of staff hours across three agencies.
“The seriousness of his actions should not be underestimated. This could have resulted in delayed responses to those actually in need and could have had severe consequences for those requiring urgent assistance.
“Not only that but due to the teenager lying down in the middle of the road, he could have easily been hit by another vehicle causing danger to himself.
“It is right that he was prosecuted for wasting emergency services time. He received a fixed penalty notice which has now been paid.”
Following the prosecution, Nottinghamshire Police, East Midlands Ambulance Service and Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service are urging people to use the 999 emergency line appropriately, and only contact the non-emergency 101 line if it is a police matter.
Assistant Chief Constable Rob Griffin said: “Every hoax or inappropriate call our emergency call handlers receive has the potential to delay us from responding to genuine emergencies and put someone else’s life in danger.
“If we attend a hoax call, it means we’re not available when someone really needs our help. It could be a matter of life or death. Hoax calls can be traced and callers run the risk of a heavy fine and even a prison sentence.
“All we ask is that people only call 999 in genuine emergencies and remember that there are other ways to contact us for less urgent enquiries, with the Nottinghamshire Police website offering advice on hundreds of policing and non-policing issues and the 101 non-emergency number also available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”
Greg Cox, Divisional Director for the Nottinghamshire division of EMAS, said: “Hoax and inappropriate calls can put people’s lives in danger by diverting resources away from genuine emergencies and delaying responses to serious or life-threatening emergency calls.
“They also place additional strain on emergency services at a time when we are dealing with high levels of demand.
“Think – your life, or the life of someone you care about, could be put at risk by making an inappropriate or a hoax call.”
Bryn Coleman, area manager of prevention and protection at Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service, said: “Wasting emergency services’ time is a serious and dangerous issue. They put both members of the public and firefighters at risk.
“Firefighters around Nottinghamshire spend hours trying to tackle unnecessary incidents, including deliberate fires, taking them away from other emergencies.
“We are working with our partners, including FireStoppers, to tackle this issue.”