BREAKING NEWS UPDATE: 4.30pm Monday 31st July 2012
West Yorkshire police say a 999 call which triggered a major search for a three year old girl was a hoax.
They're questioning two 10 year old girls.
The caller told the operator yesterday their mum had fallen over and wouldn't wake up, but officers had been unable to trace the call.
Background to the Case
Police stated earlier that they were taking the situation extremely seriously.
The force logged an emergency call from what was believed to be a 3 year old girl yesterday morning (Monday 30th July 2012).
The youngster, who claimed to be 3 or 4, says her mum had fallen over and wasn't moving.
Using a mobile phone, the little girl tells the operator her name is Ellie from Leeds and she's locked in the house, but police haven't been able to trace the number.
Here's the 999 call:
Official Statement from West Yorkshire Police
Detectives investigating a 999 call to the ambulance service which claimed to be a three-year-old girl reporting her mum collapsed at home have now established the call was a hoax.
Unusually the number that made the call was not identifiable and could not initially be traced. Investigations subsequently identified a mobile phone number and traced it to Bridlington.
Two ten-year-old girls living there were identified and have been spoken to by officers this afternoon.
Officers are now liaising with the girls’ parents and partner agencies to take appropriate action.
Detective Chief Inspector Lisa Griffin, of the Homicide and Major Enquiry Team, 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 what 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.”