Vindictive hoax call wastes time and money: police

A "VINDICTIVE" hoax call resulted in a major police operation that saw large sections of North Bendigo cordoned off last night.

Sergeant Mark Holloway said Bendigo police received a call from an interpreting service about 5.30pm, which said a small child had called to report disturbing events.

“Apparently it was a child, claiming that the child’s father was drug-affected and making threats to shoot mum," Sergeant Holloway said.

Sergeant Holloway said the person on the phone also told the interpreting service that their father had shot the family dog.

"They provided sufficient information for the police to treat the call credibly," he said.

He said the caller provided police with an address in North Bendigo, which resulted in 15 police cordoning off Lucan Street from Bayne Street to Bakewell Street, as well as parts of Nolan Street.

Police then made contact with a couple inside the house identified by the caller, finding that no-one was in danger and the pair had no knowledge of the call.

Police called off the operation about 7pm.

Sergeant Holloway said the call was a "vindictive prank", which was "both costly and a considerable trial to the police".

Inspector Colin Renton, who oversaw the operation, said police had not identified the caller but when they did, charges could be laid.

Under the Telecommunications Offences and Other Measures Act improper use of an emergency call service can result in a person receiving a three-year prison sentence.

Inspector Renton said he had received prank calls in the past and the reasons people made them varied.

"Some just like to see the blue lights, some have a dislike for police and sometimes there are psychological issues at play, or a combination of all three," he said.


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