HOAX callers have been slammed for putting lives at risk after making 24 calls to the emergency services from the same phone box.

Police are urging parents to speak to their children about the dangers of making false 999 calls after hoaxers have made two calls per month from the phone kiosk in Tong Lane, Bacup, in the past 12 months.

A spokesman for Rossendale Police said: “Hoax calls cost lives and take vital emergency service resources away from where they are needed most.

“The calls made from this telephone kiosk have mostly been made by children.

“Local officers would like to ask parents in the area to speak to their children and advise them regarding making false calls to emergency services.”

Bacup’s Coun Sean Serridge said he hoped the calls were made by young children who are less likely to know better.

He said: “This behaviour is absolutely disgraceful and has to stop. I really hope it is younger children that are making these hoax calls, instead of older ones who already understand what they are doing.

“When people make hoax calls, they waste money and resources, and that’s not even mentioning risking people’s lives.

“If parents are aware of their children doing this then they need to have a serious talk with them.”

Bacup Coun Jimmy Eaton said: “While firefighters, paramedics and police officers are out dealing with what turns out to be a hoax call, they aren’t dealing with real incidents. It could cost somebody their life."