Exmouth firefighters trace hoax caller

EXMOUTH firefighters turned detectives on a hoax caller – resulting in the culprit being fined �80 by the police.

EXMOUTH firefighters turned detectives on a hoax caller - resulting in the culprit being fined �80 by the police.

A man in his 20s, who admitted to police he made the crank call to the town's fire service, was arrested and slapped with an �80 fixed penalty notice for his efforts.

Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service said it takes malicious fire calls 'very seriously', and is working closely with Devon and Cornwall police to stop all types of false and unwanted calls.

Exmouth white watch manager Nigel Snowshall, who helped thwart the hoax caller, said suspicions were raised when the man dialled 999 claiming there was a blaze at a restaurant in Rolle Street, which the crew knew did not exist.

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Mr Snowshall said the caller claimed there was a fire in a building at 'Cahoona Burger'.

The firefighter said: "We knew there were a couple of fast food outlets in Rolle Street, so we wondered if someone had got the name wrong.

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"When we went to investigate the two fast food outlets, no one knew anything about it.

"We had a trace on the call, because every call is recorded. Once we had the name and address of the caller, we realised they were nowhere near Rolle Street, so we knew the call was malicious."

When the police were called by the fire service, they visited the man's home, where he admitted making the hoax call.

The crank caller was slapped with an �80 fine by police.

"It only takes one hoax call to be made at the wrong time," said Mr Snowshall. "There could be a real need for a fire appliance, which could be a matter of life or death."

Ian Haim, call reduction officer, said: "These types of calls detract the police and fire service from attending real emergencies and are a drain on an already busy resource.

"All offenders will be targeted and actions taken to identify them and a prosecution obtained.

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