It’s happened again.
Numerous callers dialled 911 to complain after they got an Amber Alert on their phones in the early hours of Thursday morning.
The two little boys who were the subject of the frantic search were found safe with their grandfather in Toronto, but that hardly seemed to matter to people upset about being rudely awakened by the piercing alert notification.
Charging someone under the criminal code should only be used for those who are repeat or malicious offenders, said Michael Spratt, a criminal lawyer in Ottawa.
While he also hadn’t heard of anyone facing charges for calling 911 to complain about Amber Alerts, Spratt did represent someone charged with continuously calling the emergency line to order pizza and beer.
He said some people who misuse 911 may have underlying mental health issues, and charging them criminally may not act as a deterrent.
The consequences for someone convicted, Spratt said, may also outweigh the costs of an operator having to deal with a false 911 call.