With the nature of cuts to the public services, efficiency needs to be prioritised more than ever before. Police numbers are falling by the year, with funding down by around 20% between 2010 and 2017.
Because of this bleak reality, the emergency services cannot be burdened by trivial matters. One such matter has been dealt with strongly by Sussex Police.
A 50-year-old Brighton resident has received a substantial prison sentence after he consistently made nuisance calls to the emergency services, breaching his criminal behaviour order (CBO) 30 times.
Michael Gibson’s CBO meant that he could only call 999 in a time of actual need after he had made abusive calls to the services back in 2014. He was also banned from owning mobile phones.
Instead of abiding by this, he continued to make hoax calls and was also found to possess 2 mobile phones. He pleaded guilty at Hove Crown Court and received a 16-month sentence as well as a charge of £140.
Sarah-Louise Giddon of Sussex Police spoke of the impacts of wasting the time of the services: “People who persistently make nuisance calls to the emergency services place an enormous strain on the system and potentially block genuine calls needing immediate life-saving responses.
Giddon believes that this sentencing will make the seriousness of the crime known: “This sentence sends out a clear message to people who persist in plaguing emergency call-handlers with their nuisance calls that their anti-social and possible life-threatening activities will not be tolerated and will be punished.”