A man who called the police after a gang of youths overturned his girlfriends car was told to ‘ring the AA’ according to a report in today’s Express & Star.
Simon White called his local station in Bloxwich after initially calling 999, but was referred to the breakdown recovery service despite not having cover with the organisation.
Earlier in the evening Mr. White had spotted a crowd of around 20 young people hanging around by his home, and returned from walking his dog to find the Fiat Punto on its side in the road.
In the article, he comments:
“At no point did the police ask me anything to do with solving the crime. There was no mention of witnesses, possible finger-prints or any desire to catch who had done it. All they said was call the AA or Green Flag
“When I told them there was petrol leaking from the car they said they’d call the fire brigade and then ended the conversation”.
Mr. White had to insist that local police investigate this act of vandalism, but by the time officers were finally sent to the scene the suspected youths had long since vanished and the written-off vehicle has left his partner with no means of transport to get to her job as a charity worker.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, no-one was available from West Midlands police to comment on the incident and no doubt Mr. White and his family feel short changed on the taxes they pay to their local force. Many of us are aware of the increasing burden of bureaucracy that local police stations are having to deal with but incidents like this, where decent hardworking people have their concerns flippantly dismissed, really paint a worrying picture of the slipping standard of police responses.
It’s interesting that Sir Paul Scott-Lee, the Chief Constable of West Midlands Police, appeared alongside other fat cats in the TaxPayers’ Alliance Public Sector Rich List, released to the national media today, with a 2007-8 remuneration of no less than £163,908 per annum (not including expenses, bonuses or pension payments). It appears that in spite of his huge income the very force that Sir Paul presides over is unwilling - or unable - to provide the basic level of investigation and protection that West Midlands residents expect of them making this sort of pay packet completely inconsistent with the quality of service delivered.