A man who was charged for making a number of hoax calls has been banned from contacting the emergency services.
Over the past 12 months, Stuart Walton has made countless 999 hoax calls to Cheshire Constabulary.
On many of the calls, the 58-year-old was found to be verbally abusive to control staff during the telephone conversations.
Walton was regularly intoxicated and purposely obstructive during these calls, refusing to provide his details before hanging up.
Between Monday 9 August 2021 and Friday 13 May 2022, Walton made 85 emergency calls to Cheshire Police and the duration of time spent on 999 calls with Walton amounted to roughly two hours.
With the level of demand, Walton’s calls could have delayed those who were reporting genuine emergencies.
Walton, of Ellesmere Port, consistently threatened to self-harm and commit suicide in a bid to get the emergency services to come to his address. When officers would attend the scene, Walton would be heavily intoxicated but usually unharmed.
This series of hoax calls significantly disrupted Cheshire police’s ability to answer calls from members of the public who were in actual need of assistance.
Walton was subsequently charged with persistently making hoax calls to police for the purpose of causing annoyance, inconvenience, or needless anxiety to another.
On appearing at Chester Magistrates Court on Wednesday 15 June, he pleaded guilty to the offence and was sentenced to 26 weeks in prison. He was also handed a five-year Criminal Behaviour Order (CBO) which if breached, could grant further prison time.
As a result of the order, Walton is now banned from contacting Cheshire Constabulary by any means unless it is a genuine emergency.
He is also banned from contacting any other emergency services on 999, 111 or 101 unless it is a genuine emergency.
Chief Inspector Paul Fegan, Ellesmere Port Local Policing Commander said, “Walton’s repeated drunken phone calls were a huge hindrance on the capacity of our emergency services.
“The 999 number is here to support those that are in real danger or those witnessing a crime taking place.
“Walton continued to waste valuable police time at the cost of the taxpayer, and I am glad that this CBO is now in place to prevent further communication and resources being lost on him.
“The time dealing with these hoax calls could be the difference between life and death for those with genuine emergencies who are waiting to get through.
“I would like to remind the public that misusing the emergency number isn’t acceptable and will not be tolerated by Cheshire Constabulary.
“We will always support those that reach out to our emergency services when they need it most, but please be mindful to think before you dial.”
Jane Muckley of the Ellesmere Port Anti-Social Behaviour (ASB) Unit said, “In order to make our communities safer, it is vital that we stop those who are intent on wreaking havoc, particularly when it comes to our emergency services.
“Walton’s actions displayed a true level of ignorance in the work that is carried out by those on the front line, and this is simply not acceptable.
“Our goal is to make our communities safe and ensure that residents are able to contact us when they genuinely need us, which could make all the difference in a real emergency.”
If you are a victim of crime, you should contact Cheshire Police in the following ways:
• 999 if there is an immediate threat to life or property
• 101 for non-emergenciesYou can also report other matters quickly and easily by visiting the force www.cheshire.police.co.uk