A woman who has made persistent contact with emergency services and other agencies has been jailed. The conviction is the result of a number of cases collated involving the same defendant, Rosie Ralph, 27, of Middle Road in Shoreham.
Ralph made a high volume of nuisance phone calls to police and other emergency services over several years resulting in numerous call outs.
On 10 March, police received report from an employee at a local charity that Ralph had sent a message threatening to stab someone and set their house on fire. The recipient was concerned for the welfare of the person the threats were made about and contacted police. In interviews Ralph later claimed she had no intention of causing this person harm.
On 4 April, police received 999 text messages from Ralph and located her where she admitted to being in possession of a knife. During transport, Ralph became verbally and physically aggressive towards officers and made threats to spit at them. She was found to be breach of her bail conditions – an evening curfew and a ban on contacting the charity – and was further arrested and charged.
Ralph was convicted of sending a communication conveying a threatening message, assault of an emergency worker, possession of a bladed article, persistently making use of a public communications network and breach of bail and was sentenced to two years and six months in prison at Lewes Crown Court on Friday, (29 May).
Superintendent Rosie Ross said: “We take every call we receive seriously so would urge people to make the right call and please only dial 999 in a genuine emergency. For non-urgent police matters please report online or call 101.
“People will not get away with wasting time and putting people’s lives at risk and our priority is to ensure genuine callers get through more quickly.
“Persistent and malicious hoax callers take up a lot of valuable time and prevent us from diverting our resources to where they are needed most. If mental health issues are the catalyst, work is undertaken with the local police teams and other relevant partner agencies to provide help for the individual and deter them from constantly calling police.”