Using cell phone for fake 911 call a no-no

Staff ~ The Amherst News
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AMHERST - People using cell phones to make fake 911 calls should beware; they can no longer hide behind anonymity.


Police have arrested a 35-year-old Amherst man and charged him under the 911 Emergency Act for misuse of the 911 system.

The unidentified male allegedly made a fake 911 call on a cell phone just before 1:30 p.m. last Wednesday, leading members of the Amherst office of the Cumberland RCMP to respond.

With the assistance of Amherst Police and the J Division of the RCMP (New Brunswick) the location of the cell call was pinpointed and the man charged.

The maximum fine for misuse of the system is $685.21.

Const. Dal Hutchinson said the charge should send a message to those who make fake calls.

"When it's a fake 911 call, the 911 dispatchers are able to use the cellular towers to pinpoint the location of the call," Hutchinson said. "In this case, it bounced off a tower in New Brunswick and was from a local number. It was traced to Amherst."

Hutchinson said frivolous 911 calls are more than a nuisance, they tie up precious resources and run the risk of having emergency crews responding to a fake call when there's a real emergency somewhere else.

"People may think they can hide, but we can find them," he said.

Organizations: RCMP

Geographic location: AMHERST, New Brunswick

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