999 nuisance banned from making fake emergency calls

A Rayleigh man has been banned from calling 999, unless it’s a genuine emergency, after making hundreds of nuisance calls.

David Owen made 132 calls to the East of England Ambulance Service, costing more than £10,000, and 482 calls to Essex Police between March 2018 and April 2019.

Appearing at Southend Magistrates’ Court on Thursday February 6, Owen, 60, of Francis Walk, Rayleigh, was given a two year Criminal Behaviour Order (CBO).

The order states Owen is “not to call the 999 emergency number, unless in the case of a genuine medical or police emergency that would require immediate attendance of the emergency services”.

He was also ordered to undertake 12 months of rehabilitation programmes pay the East of England Ambulance Service £400 compensation.

He had previously admitted two counts of persistently making use of public communication networks to cause annoyance, inconvenience, or anxiety.

Chief Inspector Ian Gennery, head of the Essex Police control room, said: “Every 999 call that comes through to the emergency services which is either a nuisance call or an inappropriate one, blocks the line for someone who has a genuine emergency.

“That can delay a police officer or a paramedic or a firefighter from getting to someone who finds themselves in genuine danger or a life-threatening situation.

“To make one such call is irresponsible but to make more than 600 nuisance calls over the space of a year is totally reckless.”

Mick Ferris

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