UK & World News
999 Call That Sparked Hunt In Leeds Was Hoax
Police in West Yorkshire said they have spoken to two 10-year-old girls from Bridlington following a hoax 999 call.
A girl, who gave her name as Ellie, called the ambulance service claiming her mum had fallen at their home in Leeds.
She said she was three years old and that her mother is called Stacey Hall.
She also told the 999 operator that her house number was 23 and had "Court" in the street name.
But West Yorkshire Police later revealed the emergency appeal was a hoax and that two 10-year-old girls were being "spoken to" after the mobile call was traced to Bridlington in East Yorkshire.
Sky News' North of England Correspondent Gerard Tubb said: "Two 10-year-old girls, presumably bored during the summer holiday in Bridlington, East Yorkshire, had made a 999 call using what police told me was a mobile phone without any signal.
"A phone in those circumstances if you make a 999 call will roam to another service provider and the number is not passed on.
"Interestingly, the police are telling me they are unlikely, not definitely not going to, but unlikely to prosecute those two 10-year-old girls, much more likely to have very strong words and perhaps deal with them in another way."
The call was made at 10.53am on Monday but despite extensive enquiries police were unable to identify where it came from.
During the call, which lasted 33 minutes, "Ellie" told the operator she was nearly four years old and that her mum had fallen over and would not get up.
She said she had shouted at her mum and wiggled her but she remained on the kitchen floor with a piece of toast in her hand not moving.
She said the front and back door were locked and she could not get out of the house.
Detectives made wide-ranging enquiries to trace the family, including checks on police systems, hospitals, and the public register of births.
But after failing to trace the call, officers decided to go public to try and find the girl.
A spokesman for West Yorkshire Police said: "Officers are liasing with the girls' parents and partner agencies to take appropriate action."
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 treated the call as genuine on the basis of what was said that could be established in the initial stages of the 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."