Man fined for malicious communications

A man has been fined after pleading guilty to malicious communications against a Suffolk police call handler.

Shaun Riches, aged 31 and of Leighton Square in Ipswich appeared before Ipswich Magistrates on Monday 22 May, where he was ordered to pay £56 in financial penalties, comprised of a £40 fine and a £16 victim surcharge.  

The offence relates to a 999 call Riches made to the Suffolk Constabulary Contact and Control Room (CCR) on Friday 3 February where he claimed he was being harassed by police and was receiving unwanted contact from the Central Ticket Office. When in conversation with a call handler he began shouting, using threatening and foul language.

Assistant Chief Inspector for the CCR, Ali Newman, said: “Our control room operators provide a critical service to maintaining public safety and are well-trained to answer calls from members of the public in a vast range of scenarios.

“Riches’ use of threatening and foul language to a call handler was completely inexcusable, and calling the 999 emergency line to be abusive is something we simply will not tolerate.

“We will look to prosecute those who misuse our service, to ensure we are able to respond to those in a real emergency.”