A Dover man who bombarded emergency services with abusive and threatening calls has been jailed.
Douglas White made multiple calls to Kent Police, South East Coast Ambulance Service as well as other NHS services between 10 January and 14 April 2023.
During some of the calls he would remain silent, but on other occasions, he would not let the call-taker speak and would shout abuse and threats at them.
His calls towards female call takers were frequently derogatory and included abusive language. If he did not like their responses or advice, White would also threaten suicide or harm towards others, which would cause call-takers to stay on the line, fearing for his safety. On one occasion he asked a call handler to send a police officer as an emergency to read his post.
The 53-year-old was already subject to a criminal behaviour order from 2018, which banned him from phoning emergency services without a reasonable excuse.
Following an investigation by Kent Police’s Dover Victim Based Crime Team, White was arrested and charged on 19 April with breaching the order, as well as five counts of calling emergency lines to convey indecent or grossly offensive messages to cause distress to the recipient; and one count of persistent calling between 29 March and 14 April. He was also charged with a count of criminal damage after damaging a mattress in a police custody cell while under arrest.
On 11 May at Folkestone Magistrates’ Court White, of High Street, Dover, received a custodial sentence of a year after admitting all charges.
White was also sentenced for two counts of assault against emergency workers relating to a separate incident in January 2022. A SECAmb crew attended White’s address after he had reported a medical issue. He became hostile and made threats to throw boiling water and sugar to blind them, forcing them to leave for their own safety.
Sergeant Chris White from the investigating team, said: ‘Douglas White repeatedly called up emergency services for no good reason and became abusive when offered help. His actions could have prevented officers from attending genuine calls for help. It is not the first time he has done this, and already received a criminal behaviour order, which he obviously breached by his recent activities.
‘To waste the time of call-handlers is a serious issue and my officers worked hard to gather the evidence needed to stop White’s antics and bring him to court.’
South East Coast Ambulance Service Security Manager, Dave Monk, said:
'We welcome the custodial sentence handed to this individual. Not only did he abuse our emergency operations centre staff and put lives at risk by needlessly tying up our phone lines, he also endangered an ambulance crew who should expect to be able to carry out their roles without facing this kind of behaviour.
'Our staff, both in our control rooms and out on the road, join the ambulance service to provide compassionate care and we will always do everything we can to ensure any individual who threatens this, verbally or physically, will be held to account for their actions.'