Man handed £2,500 fine for making too many 999 calls

Published on: 27 Oct 2017

A MAN from Downend has been fined £2,500 and issued with a Criminal Behaviour Order after making more than 44 unnecessary calls to the emergency services in the space of just four months.

The 45-year-old was handed the fine at Bristol Magistrates Court on September 21 after breaching a Community Protection Notice.

He had made at least 44 calls between March and June 2017 and was given an indefinite order prohibiting him from:

• calling 999 emergency service for reasons other than a genuine emergency

• making false, malicious or time-wasting calls to the police 101 or NHS 111 non-emergency numbers, or - encouraging or instructing others to do so

• misleading those providing NHS services into believing he has a condition, illness or symptom in order to fraudulently gain access to services

• encouraging or instructing other people to make misrepresentations to South Western Ambulance Service Foundation Trust (SWASFT) to the effect that he needs urgent medical treatment.

In the same month, magistrates also dealt with two other cases of men making unnecessary calls to the emergency services.

A 37-year-old man from Patchway made at least 73 calls between February and May 2017. On September 27 he was convicted of breaching a Community Protection Notice and handed a 10-year Criminal Behaviour Order with the same conditions prohibiting him from contacting the NHS or emergency services except in a genuine emergency.

On September 28, a 50-year-old man from Thornbury was fined £400 for breaching a Community Protection Notice and issued with a four-year Criminal Behaviour Order. This prohibits him from: calling the 999 emergency services for reasons other than a genuine emergency; calling 101 or sending emails which are false, malicious or time-wasting in nature or encouraging or instructing others to do so or being rude or abusive when contacting police officers or staff.

The court heard he called the police 88 times in 2016 and was issued with a Criminal Protection Notice, after which he sent 50 emails to police officers and staff in the first six months of 2017.

Police apply for the orders from the court after first issuing individuals with a Community Protection Warning. If this is ignored they are given a Community Protection Notice. Breaching a CPN is a criminal offence. Only after a CPN is breached will a CBO be considered, upon conviction.

Officers worked with SWASFT to apply for two of the orders.

Claire Morgan, Frequent Caller Lead at SWASFT, said: "The ambulance service has a dedicated team of staff to manage the frequent callers to its service. Many frequent callers have complex health and social care needs so a multi-agency, structured approach is used to assist and improve those patients’ access to health and social care.

"If inappropriate demand on the service continues, impacting on the ability of SWASFT to attend other patients in the community, the Frequent Caller Team pursues this matter with the police through the legal/criminal route and a number of successful convictions have been issued across the south west."

 

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