Peterborough man who made 50 hoax 999 calls in one day sentenced at court

A man who called police more than 50 times in just one day asking for help about fake emergencies has been sentenced.

Tuesday, 30th March 2021, 10:21 am

Anthony Walson, of Ramsey Way, Stanground, Peterborough, spoke to call handlers about fake fires and other nuisance calls and acted together with David Smith, 38, of Delph Court, Peterborough. This was despite a warning letter previously being issued to Walson about the calls.

In total the pair made 53 hoax calls on 17 May last year. One of the hoax calls claimed a woman was stuck inside a house on fire while in other calls abuse was aimed at call takers.

Walson, 56, was found at Smith’s address and two phones were seized by officers. In police interview Walson answered “no comment” to all questions asked of him.

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Peterborough Magistrates' Court

However, at Peterborough Magistrates’ Court on 18 December, he pleaded guilty to making use of a public communication network to cause annoyance.

He was sentenced at the same court last week), where he was handed a five-year criminal behaviour order (CBO).

The CBO means Walson must not:

- contact the emergency help line 999, 101 or 111 unless in case of a genuine emergency requiring immediate assessment, action or treatment

- cause others to feel they need to contact 999, 101 or 111 on your behalf, save when in genuine need of emergency services requiring immediate assessment, action or treatment

- threaten, harass, intimidate, pester or alarm other persons who take any call on 999, 101 or 111

Walson was also fined £80 and ordered to complete a 15-day rehabilitation activity requirement and six-month alcohol treatment requirement.

Smith pleaded guilty to the same charge and was sentenced at the same court on 25 January where he was handed an £80 fine and six-month alcohol treatment requirement.

PC Ross White, who investigated, said: “Walson and Smith persistently phoned 999 to abuse our call handlers, who work tirelessly day-in-day-out to protect the public.

“More than 50 hoax calls in just one day is almost beyond belief. Calls like this take our time away from people who really need us. Just one minute can make all the difference in an emergency and hoax calls put lives at risk.

“The misuse of our 999 service will not be tolerated, nor will abusive behaviour towards our call handlers.”

For more information on hoax calling and what to do if you know someone is abusing police contact lines, visit the force’s dedicated web page: