Police have slammed those responsible for lodging a bogus call of an armed robbery in Portadown after resources had to be diverted from other areas.
An armed response unit, air support and dogs and handlers all had to be taken away from other incidents.
And it was a situation which could have had deadly consequences, say police, given that the armed response unit was travelling at over 100mph in order to get to the reported scene of the crime.
Officers responding to reports of an actual aggravated burglary were redeployed. Suspects – one of them armed with a baseball bat – were disturbed by a neighbour and fled in a vehicle, but police were taken from the search and tasked instead to the bogus armed robbery.
A report of a ‘drink driver on the move’ was also unanswered for the same reason.
Police in Craigavon took to social media to slam those responsible for their stupidity and the effects it has had on so many other areas, as they were forced to juggle already over-stretched resources to respond.
The hoax call had a huge impact and has been branded a “complete waste of our time, resources, money and effort”.
Police posted on social media: “Suffice to say, the person who made the call will be answering questions. It’s not just a waste of our time when people do this, but it takes resources away from YOU, the public.
“It puts people at risk as, obviously, we respond as quickly as we can. If, heaven forbid, our ARV colleagues had been involved in a crash on the way here, that would have been an 100mph+ crash…for NOTHING.
“NEVER waste any emergency service time with false or ridiculous reports. It’s not just annoying, it’s potentially deadly.”