Kids ‘screaming’ down phone during hoax 999 calls

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Children are calling 999 screaming down the phone at call handlers, the PSNI has revealed as they dealt with an avalanche of firework attacks.

After a series of attacks on the PSNI in the Lurgan area over the last two nights, police have revealed the extent of abuse their teams have suffered.

Fireworks are also being thrown at police last night in the Shankill area.

There have also been attacks in Craigavon and Mourneview.

PSNI Craigavon told parents: “There are nearly 40 incidents on our screen since 4pm. Assaults, missing people, suspicious vehicles, RTCs, alarm activations, domestics.

“Now, we’re coming under attack from kids throwing fireworks at us around Rectory in Shankill.

“We’re also getting hoax calls on 999 from the area with kids screaming down the phone at our call handlers. This is the second night in a row.

“Get out there and take control of your children, before your inaction causes us to be unable to help those who actually need it.

“Residents are being tortured with fireworks being fired all over the place. Time for you to step up.”

Ulster Unionist MLA Doug Beattie said: “Our emergency services are coming under intense strain as resources are stretched to deal with anti social youths within the area.

“The frustration of the police is felt within the entire community as young teenagers are causing havoc with anti social behaviour, drink and drugs.

“Hoax 999 calls are diverting our emergency services away from those who are in genuine need and much needed services are being redirected to deal with this unacceptable behaviour.

“This is not acceptable and is unwanted in any community.

“Do you know where your kids are? Do you know what they are doing?

“Parents need to step up and take action before someone is seriously injured or worse.

“Residents in the Shankill area in Lurgan were tortured with youths throwing fireworks - where are they getting these fireworks from? I fear nobody is going to sit up and question their kids whereabouts until a child is seriously harmed. Fireworks,drink and drugs are not toys.

“We have already lost two young lives within the community due to drugs and this weekend another young life was put at risk when a teenager fell into the river at Hoys Meadow.”