Officers cleared after allegations of rudeness and disinterest

Published Date: 28.05.2013

A complaint that police officers failed to respond quickly enough to a 999 call and displayed a poor attitude once they arrived at the scene has not been substantiated by investigators from the Police Ombudsman’s Office.

In February 2013 a vehicle was stopped by a group of protestors. Feeling under threat, the driver telephoned the police. According to the driver, who later made a complaint to the Office, when the police arrived she explained to them that the protestors had kicked the vehicle and made personal threats. She further alleged that the police response to her call was slow and that the officer she spoke to was rude, disinterested and did not appreciate the intimidating circumstances she found herself in.

Police Ombudsman investigators took a statement from the woman and examined all relevant police documentation. They visited the scene of the incident and spoke to someone who saw what happened.

The police officer involved in the incident was identified and formally interviewed under caution in relation to the allegations. The officer said he understood the woman’s frustrations and had apologised at the time for the inconvenience caused by the protestors. He denied being rude and unhelpful and said he was disappointed his manner was seen in this way.

The officer said he was not told that the protesters had slapped and kicked the vehicle or threatened the driver, and said that if he had been told this it would have indicated that a criminal offence may have been committed and he would have responded accordingly. 
On completion of the investigation, the Police Ombudsman concluded that the police did respond in a timely fashion to the driver and there was no evidence of police failure.
As no other witnesses to the incident came forward, and having conducted a review of all of the available evidence, based on the balance of probabilities he concluded that the complaint could not be substantiated.
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