Sunday, 30 November 2008

Armed police swoop to 'free hostage' after 999 hoax

ARMED police rushed to a house in Minehead town centre in the early hours of Tuesday after 999 calls that a person was being held hostage by a man with a gun.
But it turned out to be a hoax which later resulted in a youth being arrested and fined for wasting police time.
The emergency network received several calls from a mobile phone around 12.30 am on Tuesday, which caused police to believe that there was a firearm or a bomb involved in the incident.
An armed response unit was despatched to Bampton Street and a man was arrested and taken from a house into police custody.
However, police could not find any trace of a gun or any other weapon, and the arrested man was later found to be an innocent party and was released.
Two days later, on Thursday, further inquiries led police to a 19-year-old man, whom they arrested for wasting police time. He received a fixed penalty notice.
Minehead police Inspector Carol Pearce said: “I am satisfied that following information that somebody was being held hostage in some way, an appropriate response was made.
“All calls are recorded and traced and we will respond with an appropriate level of force as we believe necessary.
“As we believed firearms or bombs were involved, it required us to respond with an armed unit.
“We urge people not to get silly during the festive period because those who do will be traced and dealt with accordingly.”

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