Barnsley hoax caller jailed for wasting £95,000 of South Yorkshire Police funds

Courtney Lowe, 23, called police 82 times between 2021 and 2023 making false allegations. Credit: South Yorkshire Police

A woman who made 82 hoax calls to the police in the space of three years has been jailed for wasting more than £95,000 worth of public money.

Courtney Lowe, 23, from Barnsley, caused a sudden spike in demand for the South Yorkshire force, making false claims such as that she had taken an overdose or self-harmed.

On 46 occasions officers were sent out as a result of her calls, wasting more than 1,000 hours of police time.

She assaulted NHS staff, nurses, doctors, security staff and officers more than 30 times.

The ambulance service estimated it spent £4,779 on her callouts.

PC Mark Whittaker said: "As Lowe’s behaviour became more challenging and criminal, an initial attempt was made to set clear boundaries and manager her behaviour through service of a Community Protection Notice (CPN).

"In June 2022, following repeated breaches, we applied for a Criminal Behaviour Order (CBO) which was granted by the courts."

He added: "Taking account of costs of call handling, emergency response and police investigation, as well as costs of police custody Lowe’s behaviour in three-years has impacted upon South Yorkshire Police to the cost £95,416. 

"This is time and money that could have been invested into the needs of victims of crime and keeping the communities of South Yorkshire safe."

Lowe was sentenced to three years in prison.

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