Wednesday, 20 August 2014

20th August 2014 - on Residential Road Rage ...

Thought for the day: "I changed my iPod's name to Titanic. It's syncing now."

It was on the 24th July 2014 that I first posted the shocking news that while I was posting galleries of poor and inconsiderate parking, I had fallen foul of a resident, or residents, in my neighbouring Derwent Street who had taken objection to my parking in their street...
Blog - 24th July 2014 - Pontificating on Parking...

Imagine my surprise to see on Facebook today an article from the local paper - the Llanelli Star - regarding another victim of the residential vigilante....  Only this time it seems that the matter escalated from the "polite" yet anonimous laminate on the windscreen, to the placing of dog faeces on the handles of his vehicle... How they knew it was Dog faeces is of course another matter of conjecture...  Does it mean that the vigilante owns a dog? or did they find some other method of transferring the faecal matter to the handle. Either way it is a little off-putting and it is only the fact that I am not driving my mother's car at the moment that stops me parking in that street...  but I am tempted..

Story here ...

DOG mess was smeared over the handles and window of a car after a parking row escalated to "disgusting" levels.
Pete Harris, who moved into New Street several months ago, says the nearest parking he could find was on Derwent Street.
However his parking choice clearly angered someone as over the period of two months, a number of anonymous laminated notes appeared on his car.
One read: "As a non-resident please find somewhere else to park. Be considerate to the people who do live here. Thank you."
But because there were no restrictions and no one confronted him in person, Mr Harris says he continued to park there.
"As a tax payer and someone who pays their road tax it's my right," said Pete, who works in Nationwide.
"I heard nothing from them for a few weeks and then walked to my car to drive to work one morning to find dog poo smeared on both car door handles preventing me from entering.
"Obviously this made me feel disgusted and horrified that anyone could do such an un-dignified act.
"I regularly take my young niece and nephew in the car which makes the situation worse."
Mr Harris washed the excrement off and contacted the police, but the following week he returned to his car to find more had been wedged under the handles and had dried in.
"It cost me £5 to wash it off and I felt very embarrassed having to turn up to a car wash with it on my car," he said.
"I reported this to the police again and this time have not heard from then since.
"I no longer park in the street."
Elli ward councillor Pam Edmunds said it was "despicable".
"There's not much parking on New Road so it could be difficult for him," she said. "It's despicable that someone could do something like that and I'm glad he reported it to the police.
"People should be able to park wherever is convenient if there are no restrictions."
Anyone who witnesses any anti-social behaviour is advised to contact police on 101.

I naturally contacted the reporter (James Nicholas)  to inform him that this was not an isolated case of residential road rage - but he has not had the decency to answer so far...   I will be away for a few days so do not know whether he will bother, or whether he has completed his story to his satisfaction..

I noted that the police had been notified twice but apparently had done nothing about it...  I of course immediately called 101 to let them know that it was something that had happened to others, and that there was a pattern here - not necessarily the dog poo but the placing of laminated notes as part of the escalation...   Having taken the details, and informing me that the local neighbourhood policing team would get in touch with me - sadly - not a thing heard .. Maybe they are too busy for a community issue like putting dog mess onto people's cars...

I know there are a number of important policing issues to be dealt with and this is not necessarily a priority - but then, I only called so it could be recorded - the call centre advised me that I would receive a call - and that sets an expectation - one which sadly is once again being disappointed..

My experiences of local policing since I stopped being a police officer have sadly left me disappointed on every occasion ...

I recall when staying with my daughter many years ago, down in a village called Wick near Bristol, she lived near the top of a hill with a parking space, lay-bye opposite. Sadly, this lay-bye was also near the entrance of a private house and though lay-byes and parking seem natural pairs, it obviously displeased the residents. In retrospect I can understand that parking a car outside might restrict their view of on-coming traffic, but it was a lay-bye and parking space and opposite my daughter's house.
After staying overnight - I got to the car and found one of the tyres flat. A closer examination found that the dust cap had been removed and a sharp thorn from a bush (there was one exactly the same in the front garden of the house) had been forced into the valve - letting the air out....   I was mildly annoyed!!!

Being a serving policeman at the time, I called at the house to "enquire" if they had seen anyone tampering with the vehicle (an offence RTA 1988 s25  it is an offence if, while a motor vehicle is on a road or on a parking place provided by a local authority, a person otherwise than with lawful authority or reasonable cause gets on to the vehicle or tampers with the brake or other part of its mechanism (s.25). Deflating a tyre was "other mechanism" in my book !)  I also outlined the possible dangers of such Criminal Damage, including the possibility of injury and serious damage had the deflated tyre not been noticed - the tyres cost over £100 each as I recall.

It only gave me a an element of personal satisfaction as I questioned them - particularly the teenage son who looked very shifty,  in my best Policeman voice, while explaining that I was off duty at the time...
It gave me equal satisfaction as I quickly refilled the tyre from a pump fixed to the cigarette lighter  showing that it had not really caused me much inconvenience after all... It did not happen again when I parked there ...

So, it seems that people get as touchy about people parking outside their houses, even legally, and correctly as I do about people parking in disabled bays and taking up more than one parking bay....  But I do not resort to Dog Mess!!!  

I wonder if it was Mr Angry from before?? Sounds his sort of plan...  But I think he lives up the other end of the street.. But they say you should not mess on your own doorstep.... I shall Survive - Despite Mr Angry
Well - after all that - I shall get ready for A Medieval Weekend - they did not worry about parking in those day I think - unless you left your cart outside the tavern and then you may find it filled with Horse Muck..

A glass to see me to bed ... Cheers!


1 comment:

  1. Perhaps residents (of New Road - and other affected places) could apply (petition?) for 'Resident Parking Only' signage - wherein each applicable vehicle would be required to display an authentication disc in its window.