Thursday 17 November 2016

Copy of email to Cambridge police

UPDATE: Via a circuitous route local police are taking this seriously - local political blogger/independent journalist Richard Taylor tweeted this on to several councillors, who contacted local police who as a result got right back to me with the information that they're looking to prosecute. Good news - but deary me, why ought this be so complicated?

Just spent a frustrating little while talking to our local police force on the phone. First officer I spoke to was just colossally unhelpful, and wouldn't give me an email address to send video evidence to. She felt it was appropriate to bring some kind of text link to that to the station and hand it over while being interviewed - and that might not be for days. When I said that this is silly and could I speak to her superior officer she hung up. I was livid.

Phone back, got email address but no clear indication they'd definitely even look at an email.

I hate 'but its the year (x)!' type outrage - but come on Cambridgeshire Constabulary, sort this out. This isn't ok.

Anyway, here's the text of the email I've sent.

Video evidence for incident 95 (reported today). Incident was at about 6:15 PM yesterday.

I would like you to find someone to look at this ASAP please - I'm sure you'll agree that someone oughtn't be driving like that. I'd be happy to come in to the station to make a statement about this, but I'm concerned that you'll not start investigating this incident until then (and the earliest time you had for an appointment for that was Saturday evening).

It does concern me that this guy will be driving around until at least then without you having initiated any kind of discussion with him, and I would have thought that on the evidence of the video footage alone you've got more than enough to go and have a word with him to initiate your investigation. And I feel fairly sure that even if the first step is that this guy knows you're looking in to his driving he'll be taking some more care - prompt action could (and looking at the video I think you'll agree very likely will) prevent someone getting hurt.

Would you be able to give me some feedback on how you'd like to handle this today please?

Lastly, you've really got to update your system for handling reports of crime. You've got a single not-necessarily monitored email address for receiving crime reports and many of your staff aren't even aware of if, believing its rational to require that members of the public attend the station and presumably write down weblinks? You know full well that isn't ok.


Colin Davidson.

1 comment:

  1. Better than my experience: gave them video footage of a "punishment pass" by the driver of a fully-laden double decker bus, after 101 calls & two separate trips to Parkside station (don't work in Cambridge, so special trips each time).
    They then failed to even look at the video for 11 weeks (on repeated calls I was told no-one could give me any information except the "investigating" officer, who it subsequently transpired had gone on long-term sick). After making complaints, I was passed to a sergeant, who reviewed the footage within 24h, and told me that Cambridgeshire Police "as a matter of policy" would not act on close passes of cyclists "as the law does not have a written definition of 'close'". He denied that his decision was in any way influenced by the fact that his colleague had not filed an NIP and thus they would not be able to take action anyway. I was also told that I should have been "using the cycle path": which the video clearly shows to be blocked by contractors vehicles.

    Initial PC was sympathetic & appeared to take situation seriously. Everything from there was incompetent and/or utterly dismissive

    good luck