A prolific persistent caller who made more than 7,000 calls to Sussex Police and SECAmb from September 2020 and was continually abusive to emergency service contact officers has been sentenced to 39-months in prison.
Roger Jackson, 77, from Horsham, pleaded guilty at a hearing at Lewes Crown Court on Friday, January 27.
As part of the sentence Jackson will also have a Criminal Behaviour Order (CBO) for 10-years.
Since September 2020, Jackson has wasted more 400-hours of time while speaking with contact officers from Sussex Police and to call handlers at SECAmb’s 999 and 111 operations centres.
Force Persistent Caller lead for Sussex Police Sarah-Louise Gliddon said: “For every genuine caller waiting to speak to us, there may be one of these callers in front of them such as Roger Jackson.
"Jackson has been a persistent caller for a number of years and as such has been given multiple warnings up to his arrest last year owing to the volume of calls he was making to both police and ambulance.
"The volume and the frequency of Jackson's calls impacted the contact centre's ability to provide a service to the public, who genuinely needed police assistance or attendance while he was blocking the line.
“Being police staff as a contact officer is a job to be proud of with the variety of work and the professionalism demanded within the role everyday with every call that is taken. They shouldn’t endure being spoken to the way Jackson did.”
By continuing to monitor the most persistent hoax callers has led the force to almost halving the demand being put upon the force contact centre from 16,016 hoax calls being made in 2017 to 8,487 calls being made last year.
Since the work started in 2014 the force has tackled more than 700 individuals making such calls.
Jackson also persistently abused contact handlers from SECAmb, making almost 4,000 calls (3,976) through to 999 and more than 2,000 (2,249) calls to NHS 111.
South East Coast Ambulance Service Frequent Caller Lead and Paramedic, Nathan Daxner said: “Jackson subjected our 999 and 111 call centre staff to repeated vile verbal abuse on a daily basis and the impact his actions should not be underestimated.
“Just one malicious and false call puts lives at risk by diverting our attention and resources away from people in our communities who genuinely need our help. All our staff strive to provide the best care possible to our communities without facing verbal abuse and timewasting.
“Our frequent caller team work closely with system partners to ensure all our patients receive the right care, at the right time, from the right provider. We work closely with our police colleagues to ensure individuals who don’t respect our staff are held to account.
“We welcome the custodial sentence imposed and thank our police colleagues for their work to ensure these crimes did not go unpunished and to our own staff for their patience and perseverance during this investigation.”