Tuesday 26 April 2016

Dear Cambridgeshire Constabulary - IT IS 2016!

Here's the text of an email I just sent to our local coppers. Its pretty self explanatory - their twitter team told me to phone 101 to share a youtube link, which I wouldn't personally call constructive.

Come on Cambridgeshire Constabulary - just put a simple contact page to facilitate easy, fast, sensible sharing of incidents with you. Honestly, are you trying to dissuade us from making reports?

Anyway, email below. Enjoy.

I'm trying to find out if its worth reporting this incident to you, recorded by helmet camera as I was riding to work. I've uploaded it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YrXkEhkkXyY

Briefly, at about ten to nine yesterday morning, while riding along Chesterton Road towards Chesterton Lane, I was cycling outside the coach-parking area towards two parked cars ahead. Obviously its important to give parked cars some space while cycling, a car door opening into your path can be deadly if it pushes you off into other traffic - I didn't deviate from my line to do so, I maintained pretty much the same road position I'd used when passing the coach parking zone.

A red car, registration AE04 HFG, passed me very close while I was going past the parked cars, within around 18 inches - I could see I was getting a pretty grim look from both driver and passenger. I almost caught up with the car at the red light ahead, where the passenger had got out and yelled a stream of ill conceived advice and obscenities.

Clearly the overtake was poor (I'd describe it as dangerous - a close pass while I'm going past parked cars is unacceptable), and clearly yelling at me afterwards was wrong. But I want to know, before making a report, are you guys interested in pursuing this or is it a waste of my time reporting it?

I'd also like to complain that despite years of bothering you about the fact that you just don't publicise an email address, you're still telling people (like me, for this report) to phone 101. With respect its the year 2016, to advise me to phone you with a report better emailed isn't even quaint any more, its outdated and silly. This email address (which you gave me on 101 today) is the same one I was specifically advised not to send messages to by one of your inspectors in October 2014 because its not for public contact - and that was only after kicking up a fuss because it was the address I was originally given back then and you weren't responding on it.

You really should put a simple list of appropriate contact email addresses on your website. Its not hard, its not controversial, and I just can't fathom any good reason why you haven't done so.

Bluntly your current system, whether by design or not, dissuades people from making reports. 

If I could request that in addition to reviewing the footage linked and me if its worth making a report that you also make a point of reviewing your email contact procedure, I'd appreciate that,


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