Essex man banned from calling 999 – after making hundreds of nuisance calls

Date: 18 February 2020

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An Essex man has been banned from calling 999 – unless it’s a genuine emergency – after making hundreds of nuisance calls.

David Owen, 60 of Francis Walk, Rayleigh, made 132 calls to the East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust (EEAST), costing more than £10,000, and 482 calls to Essex Police between March 2018 and April 2019.

The Trust’s Frequent Caller Team were part of the recent successful prosecution and since 2014, the Emergency Clinical Advice and Triage and Frequent Caller teams –along with the wider Health Care Professional community – had been working hard to engage with Mr Owen to help him reduce his demand on the ambulance and other services.

However this failed to make an impact. David Owen has no enduring mental health conditions and the prosecution was supported by mental health services.

David Owen was prosecuted under the Malicious Communications Act and following a magistrate’s court hearing he was found guilty of ‘Persistently making use of the public communication network to cause annoyance, inconvenience and anxiety’.

He has been ordered to undertake 12 months of rehabilitation programmes, to pay the Trust’s £400 costs and given a two-year Criminal Behaviour Order (CBO).

The CBO states that he must not 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.

Helen Burtrand, Frequent Caller lead for EEAST said: “Police involvement in frequent caller cases is relatively rare and only used as a last resort where all other measures have failed.

“Mr Owen’s 999 calls used a huge amount of ambulance service time which reduces our availability to deal with genuine 999 calls.”

  • Summary:

    An Essex man has been banned from calling 999 – unless it’s a genuine emergency – after making hundreds of nuisance calls.