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Friday, October 15, 2004

Police Responses to Calls 

I see that the girl who has gone missing out at Piha called the police but whoever took the call decided not to dispatch anybody.

Now while I don't doubt that there are many calls that are probably not worthy of sending out a patrol car or whatever, I wonder how the hell they can know whether it is or not a lot of the time. And when somebody who is actually at the scene and knows the details and they are calling the emergency services then it would indicate that they feel a police, or other emergency service presence might be a good idea. Or else they would be calling their auntie in Pukekohe instead now wouldn't they?

My only experience with calling the police came on a Saturday night two summers ago when a guy had come off his motorbike on the road corner (rural area) bordering our property. I went to investigate and found a van with about three people trying to help the guy up and offering to drive him to his house.

Alas, this guy was so hammered that he was insisting that they help him get him back up and on his bike and that they then fuck off once that's done. He was so drunk that he kept falling over flat on his back or face. The part of body seemed to change as did the amount of slurred colourful language coming from his mouth. I decided I'd call the police since this guy was bound to either kill himself or somebody else further up the road if he got back on his horse.

But when I called them they simply said to call them back if he drives off.

But wouldn't that be a bit too late?

Eventually after getting too much abuse the van departed. And eventually he got back on his mangled pile of shit, managed to start it and hoon off up the road. I called the police again to tell them he had got on and what way he had driven so they could at least cruise out to at least see if he got home alive. But to my knowledge (since I kept an eye out for a couple more hours they did not).

I suppose he got home alright but what would have happened if he'd plowed headlong into a car coming the other way or slammed down a bank further up the road?

Given that he'd already crashed off his bike into one ditch and it took him 30+ minutes to simply get his bike upright and started I'd say that it was a good chance something might have happened.

It seems that there may be a bit of a "clean up at the bottom of the cliff attitude", rather than one of possible prevention going on. We see police breath test checkpoints often now, but when somebody is shit-faced, already crashed, abusive and threatening, and trying to drive off again nobody is interested in checking it out because it's 20 minutes drive from police HQ.

And the person taking the call for the taxi company was 13.....

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