A BARNSLEY woman has been jailed after wasting over £95,000 worth of South Yorkshire Police money, and further funds from ambulance, NHS and social care.
Courtney Lowe, 23, of Dillington Square, Worsbrough Common, appeared before Sheffield Crown Court last Thursday charged with breaching her Criminal Behaviour Order (CBO).
Lowe was given a CBO by the Barnsley Safer Neighbourhood Service, who are a team of individuals who work alongside partners such as the council, social care, mental health and support agencies to manage high demand service users, to reduce the impact they have on funded services.
The team and Lowe’s dedicated police officer have worked alongside her for four years after her demand on services became apparent with false calls and allegations of needing care.
During 2021 to 2023, Lowe made 82 calls to police, of which 46 necessitated the deployment of a police resource, and 1,009 resource hours were spent.
In addition to wasted police resources, Lowe made false allegations of taking overdoses and self-harming, causing unnecessary pressure to the NHS and mental health services.
Lowe’s dedicated officer, PC Mark Whittaker explains more, he said: “Lowe is one individual who in 2019 was responsible for a sudden demand on services.
“Despite her behaviours there has been a team of mental health professionals, social workers, and other support agencies working with Lowe to try to support her.
“However, in this time Lowe has assaulted NHS staff, nurses, doctors, security staff and officers over 30 times.
“As Lowe’s behaviour became more challenging and criminal, an initial attempt was made to set clear boundaries and manage 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”.
Lowe continued her behaviours and began reoffending.
PC Whittaker continued: “At court, we presented evidence of the impact that Lowe had upon services.
“In July and August 2023, the ambulance service estimated that servicing calls from Lowe alone cost £4,779.
“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 imprisonment.