"THIS is the height of irresponsibility": A Southampton MP is appalled after a hoax caller wasted the time of emergency services by claiming a man was trapped under a bus in Thornhill.

Hampshire Police, Fire and Rescue, and the Ambulance Service all rushed to Hinkler Road at around 9pm on Wednesday February 5 after receiving a call claiming a man was trapped under a bus following a collision.

But when they arrived at what they thought was a "life-threatening emergency", there was in fact no incident at all, and the caller had made it up from a phone box.

Now, Southampton MP, Royston Smith has condemned the action of the caller, claiming it to be the "height of irresponsibility".

Royston said: "This is appalling behaviour. Our emergency services are stretched enough without hoax calls. I hope the perpetrator is apprehended quickly and punished. Whilst the police and fire service are responding to hoax calls other serious issues may not be dealt with as quickly as we would like. This is the height of irresponsibility."

Emergency services have urged people to only dial 999 in the case of a genuine emergency after five fire engines were mobilised, along with resources from the police and ambulance service to deal with the hoax call.

A Hampshire Fire and Rescue spokesperson said: "We had a call from a phonebox at 9.03pm claiming someone was trapped under a bus just passed the library on Hinkler Road. Five crews were mobilised and they searched the area for half an hour with police.

"Hoax calls waste our time, cost the public money and, more worryingly, really do put lives at risk by taking call handlers’ time away from helping those with a genuine emergency. Every minute counts and responding to false emergencies takes vital resources away from someone who could really need us.

"People calling in with false reports need to consider how they would feel if someone delayed firefighters getting to them or their loved ones so we urge them to make the right call and only dial 999 with a genuine emergency."

Hampshire Police added: "Our Contact Management staff do a hugely important and demanding job, speaking to people who are often in very difficult, upsetting or dangerous situations, so when their time is wasted, it is most frustrating. They come to work to help the people of Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.

"It is vital people do not make inappropriate emergency calls as you could be stopping someone who has a real emergency from getting through to our call handlers."