Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Reasons For Tax Increases - No.1

A woman in Leeds, my home city, has just been served with an ASBO for making frivilous 999 calls (911 in the US).

Anti-Social Behaviour Orders are one way in which the police, in partnership with the local council, are able to challenge and confront unacceptable behaviour that impacts on the whole community. They give people subject of an order a final chance to change their ways. If they fail to take that opportunity and breach the order they will be arrested and dealt with by the courts.”   

Yes I know, it sounds like a bit of a slap on the wrist and that's understandable, because in effect, that's what it is.  Final chance ?  Don't make me laugh.

This woman agreed to an 'Acceptable Behaviour Contract' back in 2005 and was then issued with an 'Acceptable Behaviour Warning' in 2008 and the frivilous calls kept coming.  These ranged from claims she was being beaten by her boyfriend (it was just a verbal argument), to saying he was covered in blood (it was blackcurrent juice she'd thrown at him) to her wanting the police to find a home for her dog and wanting to report a neighbour for 'looking at her funny.'

Over 200 calls at an estimated cost in wasted police time etc of £500,000.  That's my taxpayer money, people !  Forgetting for the moment why a 999 call about wanting rid of a dog or claiming your neighbour has a lazy eye would cost 'me' £2,500, how can this have been allowed to go on for so long ?  And it's not just 999 calls either.  Workmen and contractors won't go to her house without police protection as both her and her boyfriend have made threats of violence again many of them.  Maybe I see now where the £500,000 has come from.

I know we don't want our prisons full of petty criminals who then invariably learn how to commit even worse crimes once released, but come on.....do something.  This woman, and many men and women like her, are laughing at the law and costing decent citizens a lot of hard earned money.  She may be mentally ill.  She may just be a pain in the ass.  But whatever she is, she's been it for some time and no amount of behaviour wrist slappings are going to work with her.  

Why should she and the boyfriend be COSTING us money like this ?  She should be PAYING for her anti social activities.

In the USA it's illegal to make even one false emergency call.  Each state has it's own penalties for doing so.  In California you get a $1000 fine, 6 months in jail, or both. Repeated calls incur a fine of $200 per call. In Virginia it's a year in jail and a $2,500 fine.  In fact in Virginia it's illegal to make a false report of an emergency or disaster by phone to ANYONE, not just by 911.  

But back to Julie Chadwick of Bawn Drive, Farnley, West Leeds (name and shame I say); lets see how long it takes until she makes another 999 call.

My guess it will be later this afternoon to complain about her ASBO ! 


Katie said...

It drives me potty. There are 'patients' with ASBOS who frequently attend A&E. Now they always claim to have life threatening illnesses because they know it overrides the ASBO in those cases. It wastes so much time and could put genuinely ill people at risk.

Daphne said...

It's hard to tell if she's mad or bad but either way she's costing a fortune and perhaps putting people's lives at risk too. An ASBO's just not going to do any good at all in this case and prison would, as you say, just teach her how to be a criminal. So the kindest thing would be just to shoot her. (Look, I'm not being entirely serious but we just haven't got a solution, have we?)

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