A 31-year-old woman who repeatedly rang 999 and was verbally aggressive to ambulance crews has been handed a Criminal Behaviour Order by the courts.
Holly Coogan, from Nottingham, rang 999 for an ambulance 151 times, for a police response 74 times and made 43 calls to NHS 111 which resulted in an ambulance response, all in the space of just six months.
The EMAS Frequent Caller Team has worked closely with colleagues in Nottinghamshire Police and other professionals in an attempt to support Coogan, but our organisations were left with no option but to pursue prosecution.
Coogan appeared at Nottingham Magistrates’ Court on 31 January where she pleaded guilty to using a public electronic communications network to cause annoyance inconvenience or anxiety.
She was sentenced to a 12-month community order and told to pay an £85 victim surcharge.
The Nottinghamshire Police Mental Health triage car team and the EMAS Frequent Caller Team have also worked hard to secure a Criminal Behaviour Order from the courts.
Coogan was therefore handed a two-year CBO banning her from making false reports to waste the time of police, fire or ambulance services.
If she breaches the order, Coogan will have committed a criminal offence and could be sent to prison.
Deborah Powell, Frequent Caller Lead at EMAS, said: “We are pleased that our joint work with colleagues in Nottinghamshire Police has successfully resulted in a Criminal Behaviour Order.
“Emergency services staff come to work to save lives and help people, not to be abused. We will continue to work with police to prosecute those who misuse our service to ensure that the support is there for those who need it in a real medical emergency.”
Superintendent Paul Burrows from Nottinghamshire Police said: “Every hoax or inappropriate call our emergency call handlers receive has the potential to delay us from responding to genuine emergencies and put someone else’s life in danger.
“If we attend a hoax call, it means we're not available when someone really needs our help. It could be a matter of life or death. Hoax calls can be traced and callers run the risk of a heavy fine and even a prison sentence.
"All we ask is that people only call 999 in genuine emergencies and remember that there are other ways to contact us for less urgent enquiries, with the Nottinghamshire Police website offering advice on hundreds of policing and non-policing issues and the 101 non-emergency number also available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”