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In June of this year, Katie Bunting from Gorleston made 30 calls in one week, including 16 calls in 12 hours.

The 51 year old appeared in court last week (24th October) where she pleaded guilty to two counts of persistently using a public electronic communications network for the purpose of causing annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety to another.

Not just the ambulance service

Bunting didn’t only call the EEAS she persistently rang other emergency services as well. Many of these calls resulted in an ambulance attending her address where often she would refuse treatment, or have been found to have exaggerated the nature of her calls. She also made 83 calls to the NHS 111 Service between 10 December 2017 to 18 June 2018 where she would often call for non-medical reasons, or would hang up whilst the call taker was assessing her.

Abusive to hospital staff

She would then refuse to answer telephone calls made back to her which meant an ambulance had to be sent to her address.

Bunting also attended the A&E department of the James Paget University Hospital 68 times in one year, but on only four occasions did she require treatment. Whilst there she would often become verbally abusive to staff and often had to be escorted out of the hospital by security staff.

Banned from calling the police

Bunting was given a five year Criminal Behaviour Order which states she must not:

Contact in any way the Police, the Ambulance Service, NHS 111, the James Paget University Hospital or Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust unless in genuine need of these services and not to refuse appropriate treatment or conveyance to hospital.

To report a minor crime, incident, illness or injury, she must get a third party to make contact on her behalf.

This does not include any pre-arranged medical appointments which she must be able to provide proof of.

If making contact with any of these services for a genuine reason not to use foul, offensive, abusive or threatening language, or make false or exaggerated claims.

Act in an anti-social manner, that is to say a manner that causes or is likely to cause nuisance, annoyance, harassment, alarm or distress to any person including the use of foul, offensive, abusive or threatening language or behaviours against anyone anywhere in a public place.

Sergeant Julie Johnson from the Gorleston Operational Partnership Team said:

“At times when public services are often working at maximum capacity, nuisance repeat callers to all Emergency Services place a great strain on already stretched resources. Whilst services are dealing with these types of calls, they are not able to respond to those in genuine need.

The Great Yarmouth Operational Partnership Team will focus on these callers and will look to reduce the demand they create. Where callers ignore requests to reduce nuisance calls, we will use the law, including Criminal Behaviour Orders, to formally address the issues.”

In addition to the CBO, Bunting also caused anti-social behaviour where she lived and one of her convictions relates to a malicious communication she sent to one of her neighbours. For this, she received a two year Restraining Order and was ordered to pay a GBP100 fine.

She was also fined GBP200 for assaulting a Police Officer and ordered to pay an additional GBP885 for these offences.

Reference: 170408

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