The City of Cape Town is ready to arrest pranksters in a bid to stop the 280 hoax calls its Public Emergency Communication Centre receives every day.
These calls ranged from “emergency hoaxes to the vilest verbal abuse, but also, more disturbingly, calls of a very perverse nature.”
The City’s JP Smith said enough was enough.
“The City of Cape Town is preparing to track down and prosecute callers who abuse its 107 Public Emergency Communication Centre number,” he said.
He said according to statistics, in 2015, out of 532 682 calls emergency operators answered, 102 217 or 20 percent were fake.
The prank calls spike in January, April and August.
Smith said while children were usually blamed for these hoax calls, a number of adults were also abusing the system with “sexually explicit calls”.
He said it was unfair and “potentially life-threatening to people with real emergencies who cannot get through or who are kept waiting because pranksters are clogging the lines”.
Smith said the call system allowed them to “pick up exactly where the call is coming from”.
He is convinced that a few “well-publicised convictions” would deter future pranksters making such calls.