Fire & Rescue Servce secure conviction relating to hoax 999 emergency calls

Published on: Saturday, 23rd March 2019

A serial hoax caller has been successfully convicted and sentenced following a joint investigation by Derbyshire Fire & Rescue Service and Derbyshire Constabulary.

Craig Mawby was sentenced to 6 weeks imprisonment and fined £600 in respect of several hoax emergency 999 calls made to the fire service between 12 October 2018 and 25 January 2019.

Mr Mawby appeared at Chesterfield Magistrates Court on the 15 March 2019 to answer the charge of persistently making use of a public communication network to cause annoyance, inconvenience or anxiety.

Speaking following the conviction, Derbyshire Fire & Rescue Service Station Manager Paul Green said: “Hoax calls are taken extremely seriously as they have a serious impact on the safety of others, as well as costing the Service time and money.  

“Each time the Service responds to a hoax call, it means valuable lifesaving resources are tied up and are unavailable to attend real emergencies."

Mr Mawby made three hoax calls in total, all reporting a fire on the same road in Bolsover.  Each call resulted in two fire engines being mobilised, as per standard response practices in respect of a building fire.

Derbyshire’s Deputy Chief Fire Officer, Gavin Tomlinson said: “I hope this conviction serves as a stark warning, making it clear that the Fire and Rescue Service will not tolerate hoax calls.  

“The hoax calls made by Mr Mawby resulted in several fire appliances being tied up for a total of 1 hour and 39 minutes, putting lives at risk as well as costing the Service approximately £600 of tax payers money.  In addition to the fire engines that were tied up responding to these calls, 999 emergency calls handlers were also prevented from dealing with real life emergencies whilst dealing with the hoax calls.

“The Service will work with colleagues at Derbyshire Constabulary to investigate any hoax calls and where appropriate, seek a prosecution.” 

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