The Crash Is Just The Beginning

, , , , , | Legal | October 5, 2020

I am driving home from my birthday meal when a guy pulls out from a side road unexpectedly. Thankfully, it is relatively slow going, so it isn’t as bad as it could have been, but my wheel arch and side panel are pretty beat up.

I get out of the car, sigh, and ask for his details so we can exchange insurance; this is a road with shops and houses on, so it’s not super busy or dangerous to do. This guy is not interested in sharing details, and as this is happening, I notice a lot of people, specifically older guys — I’m a woman in my twenties — have started to come over.

Now, I have this driver and about four other men shouting at me that he will pay me cash for the damages, and I am getting a bit spooked so I call the police.

The operator can hear the yelling.

Operator: “Hang tight; I’ll send someone out.”

I call my parents, who live nearby, and they head straight over. I’m still refusing to take cash — it turned out there was over £900 of damage done and this dude was offering me a whole £200 — and now I am getting scared, because everyone is angry AT ME.

My phone rings and it’s the police. Good; they’re telling me they’re close, right? Wrong! This woman tells me no one is coming and to just leave the scene. I am crying at this point.

Me: “He won’t give me his details, there are men surrounding me, and I’m scared. Please send someone!”

No dice. She hangs up.

I call my parents, who are a few minutes away still, and my dad is LIVID. He was on the police force for thirty years, and he is not cool with their response.

Thankfully, a group of three lads come over, start telling the other men to leave me alone, and help me move my car off the road. They say they’ll stay with me until my parents get there.

Long story short, my parents arrive and my dad gets the information out of them. The driver didn’t own the car. Shocker.

The car got sorted in the end, but my dad was still furious with the police.

Apparently, my parents called the local station on their way over, after I told them no one was coming, to ask what the h*** they were doing. The first officer they talked to said it was a minor accident, no big deal, and brushed off the point that I was alone and surrounded by people that I perceived as not being friendly.

Several more calls later, the story changed to them claiming that I never said I was worried, and, “File a complaint if you want.” My dad and I want.

We went to the station to hand in the complaint, and the desk officer made a comment about the complaint just getting binned and not being worth the effort. We demanded his sergeant and handed the complaint to him, along with a request that he does not bin it.

I heard nothing for a while. Then, one day, I received a letter. It was a formal apology from the sergeant for how they failed to help and for the way we were treated. I was assured — almost to my horror! — that the recordings of the calls my parents and I had made were to be used in training seminars to ensure that this never happened again.

I’m relieved things never escalated that night to anything beyond verbal intimidation, and that I ended up not really needing the police thanks to a few kind strangers and my parents, but I avoided that road at all costs until I finally moved a few years later.

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