Girls 'spoken to' over hoax call
Two 10-year-old girls are being "spoken to" by police after it turned out that a 999 call apparently made by a three-year-old claiming her mother was unconscious was a hoax.
West Yorkshire Police launched a search for the youngster and her mother after the caller told the ambulance service she lived in Leeds but did not know where.
A spokesman said the mobile call was traced to Bridlington, East Yorkshire, where the two girls were identified.
The spokesman said: "Officers are liaising with the girls' parents and partner agencies to take appropriate action."
The alarm was raised on Monday when the hoaxer told the operator she was a three-year-old girl and her mother had fallen.
The caller said she was locked in the house and could only give a handful of details about where she was. After failing to trace the call, which was from a mobile, officers decided on a publicity drive to try to find the girl, who said she was called Ellie.
Detective Chief Inspector Lisa Griffin said: "We are pleased that our investigation has shown that we don't have a vulnerable little girl out there with her mum collapsed beside her, although it is obviously incredibly frustrating that this has turned out to be a hoax.
"We are very grateful to the public and the media for all the support they have given us in appealing for information over this incident. We treated the call as genuine on the basis of what was said that could be established in the initial stages of the investigation.
"Our priority is always to help the public and protect life, as was our overriding focus in this investigation.
"This incident again highlights how misuse of the 999 system can cause significant unnecessary work for the emergency services who have limited resources to deal with genuine calls for help from members of the public. We hope it will help to remind people of the serious consequences of misusing the 999 system."