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Persistent hoax caller banned from contacting the emergency services

A man who put lives at risk by making a series of hoax calls has been banned from contacting the emergency services.

Over the past twelve months Andrew Cotterill has made numerous hoax calls to Cheshire Constabulary both through the 999 emergency number and via the non-emergency number 101.

During many of his calls the 53-year-old, of South Bank Grove, Congleton was verbally abusive to staff in the control room.

His actions escalated between 16 and 19 January when he made over two hours’ worth of telephone calls across the three days.

Cotterill claimed that he had been verbally and physically threatened by a known individual on a number of occasions. During some of the calls he also threatened to attack the alleged suspect.

Due to the nature of the calls officers were assigned to the incidents but were able to use CCTV footage to prove that none of the incidents had ever occurred.

Following an investigation by PC Kate Ritchie, of the Congleton Proactive CID, Cotterill 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 Crewe Magistrates Court on Thursday 17 June, he pleaded guilty to the offence and was handed a two year Criminal Behaviour Order.

As a result of the order Cotterill is now banned from contacting Cheshire Constabulary by any means unless it is a genuine emergency.

He is also banned from making contact with any other emergency services on 999, 111 or 101 unless it is a genuine emergency.

David McMahon, the Force Contact Service Delivery Manager: “Cotterill’s actions put lives at risk and cost the taxpayer thousands of pounds.

“The 999 number is here to support people who are in real danger or are witnessing a crime taking place.

“At a time of nationally increased 999 volumes, misuse of the emergency number isn’t acceptable and won’t be tolerated.

“The time lost dealing with inappropriate 999 calls can be the difference between life and death for other callers with genuine emergencies trying to get through.

“Cotterill, often while drinking, made numerous nuisance calls to 999 and 101, reporting spurious allegations.

“His persistent communications prevented our call handlers from dealing with real emergencies, prevented members of the public with genuine emergencies to be able to contact us in a timely manner and created onward difficulties for our local policing units.

“We are of course here to protect the public when they need us most, but I do urge people to think before they dial.”

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-emergencies

You can also report other matters quickly and easily by visiting the force

In addition to his CBO Cotterill is also subject to a six-month curfew between the hours of 7am and 7pm and must continue to engage with alcohol support services.

If he breaches the order he faces up to five years in prison.


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