Warrnambool man charged with making hoax calls to emergency services

A man has been charged after a series of hoax calls were made to triple zero (000) earlier this year, with each triggering a multi-agency emergency response.

It is alleged the man made four hoax calls to triple zero (000) between 12 February and 21 March, reporting serious multi-vehicle crashes at different locations in the Warrnambool area.

On one occasion, the man allegedly reported a three-car collision at the intersection of Aberline Road and Whites Road, Warrnambool, with possible trapped occupants, and oil and debris all over the road.

On another occasion, he allegedly reported a car versus truck collision at the intersection of Horne Road and Wangoom Road, Warrnambool, with a person trapped, smoke and flames.

As a result of the calls, Victoria Police, County Fire Authority (CFA) and Ambulance Victoria officers responded as a matter of priority, only to confirm no incident.

Police on Monday executed a search warrant at an address in Janlor Street, Warrnambool, arresting a 23-year-old man and seizing three imitation firearms.

The man was charged with four counts of making a vexatious call to emergency services, with each charge carrying a maximum penalty of three years in prison; and three counts of possess imitation firearm.

He was remanded to face Warrnambool Magistrates' Court on 23 May 2022.

Quotes attributable to Warrnambool Region Tasking and Coordination Inspector Josh Tink:

"Making a hoax call to emergency services is a despicable and selfish act, which ultimately robs the rest of the community of access to valuable emergency services such as police, ambulances and fire fighters.

"Emergency personnel are at the ready to respond to life-threatening incidents in our community. Hoax calls such as these divert critical resources away from where they are needed most, costing not just money and time, but potentially lives.

"Police have zero tolerance for people who think it's somehow funny to report a fake incident. We will find you and make sure you face the consequences for your actions, which are certainly no joke."

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