BLACKBERRY users fooled by a bogus claim that calling 999 and hanging up will charge their phones could be putting people's lives in danger.

In an attempt to dispel the myth that dialling 999 can boost battery life, West Mercia Police have issued a warning to Blackberry mobile phone users.

A spokesman for the service said: “Hoax 999 of any kind are very dangerous. They divert much needed resources that should be deployed to potentially life threatening situations or where a serious crime is in progress.

“Even when the caller hangs up on an 999 call, it is considered abandoned. Both our officers and staff will do everything they can to locate and identify the caller to ensure the caller is not at risk of any harm.

“The only way to keep your Blackberry from running out of battery is to charge it”.

Silent or aborted 999 calls are always investigated to make sure the caller was not in any danger, wasting resources which would otherwise be used on callers in need of immediate or emergency help.

Misusing the 999 number is a criminal offence and police also have the power to disconnect mobile phones which have been used to make hoax 999 calls.