REGIONAL: Woman convicted after calling 999 to ask if police could order her a takeaway

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A woman has been convicted of making persistent nuisance calls to the police, including telling them about her shopping trips and asking them to order her a takeaway.

Netta Hall, 45, phoned Sussex Police more than 95 times between January 1 and June 15 2016, tying up call handlers for a total of about seven hours.

The Worthing resident contacted the police on such matters as mortgage repayments on her house, historical non-police incidents from the 1980’s, statements about how she feels living in the town she lives in, asking if 999 operators could order her a take-away, her car being taken by police for driving offences, and experiences in retail shops with staff.

Having failed to answer a summons, she was convicted in her absence at Worthing Magistrates Court on March 27.

Her conviction was for persistently making use of a public electronic communications network for the purpose of causing annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety to another, against the Communications Act 2003.

She was given a 12-month Community Order, is required carry out a 10 days behavioural rehabilitation course, was given a six-week overnight curfew, and was also ordered to pay a total of £235 court costs and victim surcharge.

On average Sussex Police receives up to 2000 calls a day or more, especially in the summer, along with 1500 emails a week and 1500 online crime reports every month.

In 2016 six persistent callers were prosecuted.

Call-taker Sarah-Louise Gliddon said: ‘Netta Hall was a prolific caller to Sussex Police over the last two years and despite being warned by the local policing team and being issued with a Fixed Penality Notice she continued to phone and email the contact centre on a weekly sometimes daily basis with matters which were not requiring a police response which affected our ability to take other calls and reports from the members of the public requiring police assistance.’