Police probe 400 hoax 999 calls from Colne school

Central Pendle Academy in Colne.'Photo Ben Parsons
Central Pendle Academy in Colne.'Photo Ben Parsons
  • 400 hoax calls from Colne secondary school
  • Peak at 40 calls in one hour
  • School ‘extremely disappointed’ with situation
  • Action to identify students involved
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Police are investigating 400 hoax 999 calls all believed to be made from pupils at a Colne secondary school.

Hundreds of prank calls have inundated the emergency services over a three week period in February and March including a high point of 40 in just one hour.

The police branded the calls, thought to be made by children at Colne Primet Academy, as a misuse of the 999 system and “reckless, stupid and idiotic”.

Calls have been traced back to mobile phones thought to belong to pupils at the academy in Dent Street which is part of Pendle Education Trust.

Sgt Kim de Curtis said the calls included “silly childish comments” and callers were “plainly not in need of the emergency services”, adding that lives could have been put at risk.

Sgt de Curtis said: “Investigations are ongoing. We have been in to see the headteacher this week and we are planning to go in to do a general education presentation with the whole school.”

In terms of punishing the culprits, Sgt de Curtis added: “We would like to take them to the control room and see how under pressure staff are and show them just how daft people are being making these calls.

“Charging them under the Malicious Communications Act or wasting police time is a last resort. We would prefer to work with their parents first.”

Headteacher Lynne Blomley said: “As soon as we were made aware of the issue it was addressed swiftly and seriously.

“The actions of these students are not condoned by the Academy and we are very disappointed in them, this is not behaviour we expect of our students.

“We have held special, assemblies to emphasise to all students that this is a very serious matter and have brought the police in to interview those we believe to be involved.

“Although this is a one-off incident we will continue to raise awareness of the consequences of such behaviour to avoid any reoccurrence in the future.”

Anita Ghidotti, the Pendle Education Trust Chief Executive, said: “Mrs Blomley and her staff responded immediately to this issue and have worked collaboratively with the police to ensure that the students responsible are identified and held accountable for their unacceptable actions.

“We are extremely disappointed with the situation, these students are not representative of our Academy community and the values for which we stand.”