Pensioner who hurled ‘vile’ abuse at emergency workers jailed

Pensioner makes abusive nuisance call to Sussex Police

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A sweary pensioner who bombarded police and ambulance workers with more than 7,000 abusive calls in less three years has been jailed. ‘Malicious’ timewaster Roger Jackson, 77, repeatedly put lives at risk by dialling 999 ‘on a daily basis’ and wasted more than 400 hours of emergency services’ time whilst ranting and swearing at call handlers.

However, on the day ambulance workers across the nation stage their latest strike, the 77-year-old, from the market town of Horsham in West Sussex, was locked up for his persistent and ‘vile’ campaign of abuse.

Jackson was sentenced to a 39-month prison term after pleading guilty to making the nuisance calls at Lewes Crown Court last month, having phone both Sussex Police and South East Coast Ambulance Service (SECAmb) more than 7,000 times since September 2020.

During one expletive-riddled rant, Jackson is heard telling a female call handler: “You’re letting people die like flies.

“Shut up…You have to help people on their own whose got Covid.

“I told that little idiot this morning you’ve got an apology…shut your ****ing mouth.”

In another he bellows: “Shut up you ****.”

During the time call handlers spent dealing with him, other members of the public with genuine emergencies would have had to wait for Jackson’s tirades to end, police said.

Sarah-Louise Gliddon, the force persistent caller lead for Sussex Police, said today: “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.

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She added: “Being a police contact officer is a job to be proud of, with the variety of work and the professionalism demanded within the role every day, with every call that is taken.

“They shouldn’t endure being spoken to the way Jackson did.”

In its targeting of persistent hoax callers, the force has almost halved the demand being put upon the contact centre from 16,016 hoax calls in 2017 to 8,487 calls made last year, Sussex Police said.

And since monitoring began in 2014, the force has dealt with more than 700 individuals making such calls.

Jackson also persistently abused call handlers from SECAmb – making almost 4,000 calls to 999.

Nathan Daxner, SECAmb frequent caller lead and paramedic, said: “Jackson subjected our call centre staff to repeated, vile verbal abuse on a daily basis and the impact his actions should not be underestimated.

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“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 time wasting.

She continued: “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.”

As well as being jailed, Jackson was handed a 10-year Criminal Behaviour Order (CBO).

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