Police have condemned a malicious 999 caller who sparked a river rescue in Perth and put lives at risk.
Emergency services, including two fire crews, were scrambled to the city’s Shore Road on Thursday night after reports two people were in the water.
The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service prepared to launch a RIB vessel into the freezing river, near the Perth Water Sports Club, just before 9pm.
However, the team was stood down after a series of police-led searches confirmed the 999 call had been a fake.
Perth-based Sergeant Gordon Miller confirmed an investigation is now under way.
“At around 8.20pm on Thursday, officers responded to a call reporting concern for two people allegedly seen in the River Tay at Perth.
“After making significant enquiries and conducting searches throughout the area, with the assistance of partner agencies, the call was deemed likely to be a hoax.
“Further enquiries into the matter are now ongoing.”
He said: “Making malicious or false calls to the emergency services is a crime, which is taken very seriously by Police Scotland.
“Hoax calls not only waste valuable resources but can endanger members of the public by diverting vital services from genuine emergencies.”
Just before Christmas, emergency crews were called out after reports that a woman had been spotted in the River Tay.
Rescue boats were deployed and a coastguard helicopter from Prestwick joined the hunt.
After searching for several hours, officers found no evidence anyone had been in the water that night.
New figures have revealed 2,105 false alarms had been made to the SFRS in Dundee during 2019/20, 127 of which were malicious.
This was 6% of all false alarms in the city, which is the second highest rate in Scotland after Aberdeen.
Also, 1,736 of the false alarms in Dundee were due to apparatus, which means the fire service was called automatically by a fire alarm being triggered, while a further 242 were made with good intentions, where members of the public had believed the firefighters’ assistance was needed.
Further hoax phone calls were made to the fire service across the rest of Tayside too.
In Angus there were 903 false alarms in 2019/20, 39 of which were malicious, while 1,106 false alarms occurred in Perth and Kinross, of which 47 were malicious.