Two young boys have agreed to write letters of apology to the emergency services after making more than two dozen hoax calls.
The two 12-year-old boys, one from the Levenshulme area and the other from Reddish, made up to 30 hoax calls to the emergency services between 6 September 2014 and 12 October 2014.
Among the calls they made included a woman being raped in a park and a report of someone being shot by a gun.
There were also hoax calls made about a man on fire which necessitated two fire engines being deployed to the scene.
All of the calls prompted a response from at least one of the emergency services – on some occasions the police, fire and ambulance services all had to respond – tying up valuable resources and diverting them away from genuine emergencies.
The calls were made from the boys’ mobile phones.
However, during a Restorative Justice meeting between representatives from all three emergency services, the two boys and their parents, both young boys fully admitted their guilt and showed genuine remorse.
As a result, under Restorative Justice, the two boys have agreed to write a letter of apology to all three emergency services and agreed to go on educational courses organised by the ambulance and fire services.
The two boys were also showed the custody suite at Elizabeth Slinger Road to warn them of what a night behind bars could have been like, and the calls they made were replayed to them to show them how serious their actions were.
Police Constable Lisa Valentine said: “Both these young boys realised how foolish they had been by making so many hoax calls to the emergency services.
“During the Restorative Justice meeting, it was pointed out in no uncertain terms that their actions had potentially put people’s lives at risk, forcing the emergency services to respond to their silly calls when they could have been out responding to genuine emergencies for people in need of urgent medical treatment or police assistance.
“However, thanks to the Restorative Justice process we have been able to really show these boys the error of their ways without having to put them through the criminal justice system.
“In this way, these young boys have not received any sort of criminal record which might hamper them in later life and all for a few weeks of foolish behaviour, but instead been shown the real harm they have caused so they don’t do it again.
“This is another excellent example of how Restorative Justice can be used to really repair the harm caused by individuals without putting them before a court which in many cases would not either an appropriate punishment or deterrent.”