Thursday 16 May 2019

Cambridgeshire Police - Don't Expect Them to Police Motorists

So this happened. I took this picture at about quarter past eight this morning.

You wouldn't get a pram down the side there, or any kind of walking aid. Frankly it would be hard to get down there with just a walking stick and anyone with any kind of visual impairment would be scuppered. It isn't OK to park like that - ideally they shouldn't be parked on the pavement at all, but if they really must then they need to leave enough space for people to safely get past. There are cars parked on the other side, but they're further on - here the police car could have been entirely on the road. It would take more care and time to park carefully behind another vehicle and on the pavement than to park on the road, so if this was any kind of emergency then parking like this is an approach that sucks.

I decided to call 101 and tell them, they told me maybe they're responding to an emergency, and I said yeah, clearly this wasn't how you'd park if there was an emergency, it would be much faster parking on the road. Then they put me through to whoever it needed to be and I queued, I waited, and got through to someone. They took the details down and said they're record it as a complaint against the Police. Which isn't right - I'm reporting a crime, I want it recorded as a crime, not a complaint. My reasoning was simple - if this was a plumbers van and I phoned the Police, it would be treated as an incident thats perhaps a crime, not as a complaint to the plumbing company. I don't think the Police necessarily have to be held to a higher standard than the rest of us, but clearly they have to be held to the same standard. The officer said they'd put me through to someone else, the phone rang again, I went on hold, then it went dead.

I called back and basically had the same discussions again, which ended in the line going dead. Again. 

Long story short (too late, I know), they required that if I don't agree about this being a complaint against the Police rather than a report about a crime, then I need to raise a complaint about that. So I did, and was told they'd call me back about that. Thats four hours ago now. The line randomly went dead three times trying to get this done and multiple officers flat out refused to accept that this should be treated as a crime that needs investigating.

Bluntly all I'm asking for is for the Police to be treated exactly the same as anyone else. If they park a car blocking the pavement such that a visually impaired, physically disabled person or someone with a pram can't get past then thats out of line. Thats not a police complaint, its something that needs investigating and handling in exactly the same way as it would be if its anyone else.

The Police are not above the law. But in being the prime organisation jobbed with enforcing the law its very clear that they think they ARE above the law. I find that really very sinister - they think that the answer to this is to go and ask the officers in question for an excuse. That can't be right - can it?

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