Wednesday, 12 February 2014
Page Seven - Parking Ticket (Copcast #122)
George went into work yesterday to see a female colleague somewhat miffed and perturbed. This was unusual given that she was one of the few officers in the nick that always had a positive attitude to work even at 7.05 on an early turn.
"What's up?" George asked.
"Got a bastard complaint" she replied without looking up from her emails.
No way, George couldn't imagine a scenario where she would get a complaint for anything, she was such a nice and considerate person. She eventually explained that someone had put in an official complaint against her and a colleague. As most officers know the vast majority of complaints against them are for being 'rude' to members of the public. Most of the time these complaints are malicious and unfounded, however there are of course exceptions when police officers have been rude. George had to admit he'd been a little curt with someone if he thought they were (A) lying, (B) obstructive or (C) both. He know's it's not right but there are times when some people just won't pay attention otherwise.
It turned out that his colleague was called to a detained shoplifter in a very large out of town supermarket. Security had detained a male and he had started to play up, so police were required on the 'hurry up'. Upon arrival, said supermarket car park was rammed full, no spaces anywhere. Given the circumstances and the urgency of the call (the male was trying to get out of holding room and being held down by staff) George's colleague spotted a parking space near the entrance. You can imagine her thoughts now 'Ideal, get the car close, don't want to drag a prisoner across the car park'. So she parked up and ran in with her partner. They did the business, cuffed the prisoner and took him out to the car since by then he was compliant.
Cue three weeks later to yesterday. The Inspector at the local police station had received a complaint from a member of the public who stated that a police car had been abandoned in a disabled parking bay for ten minutes, meaning he could not park. The Inspector looked into the incident and could see that parking in the disabled bay on this occassion was justified. He explained this to the member of the public who admitted that he had seen two officers escorting a prisoner out of the premises to the car, however he still felt that those officers should be spoken to with regards to their lack of consideration.
The Inspector apologised and promised that he would. An informal resolution at it's best although it is still recorded on her personal record. The Inspector contacted the officer by email and reminded her in future to only park in a disabled bay if it absolutely unavoidable.
George's colleague was understandably annoyed over this, but he told her not to take it to heart. She had made a decision at the time that was justified. She was answering an emergency call, a shoplifter was violent and possibly assaulting a member of staff. She had travelled three miles to the store on blues and twos in an effort to get to the incident before anyone got seriously hurt and she had chosen to park at the nearest point to store for the sake of officer and public safety.
Now, thanks to a member of the public who felt it was more important for a police officer to not park in a disabled parking space George's colleague had been chastised by email by an Inspector, she was now a demoralised and very grumpy partner.