Rider says police too "busy" to attend crash that broke leg

Officers eventually interviewed cyclist two hours after collision

by Simon_MacMichael   July 18, 2014  

Broken bike (CC licensed image by garryknight, www.flickr.com)

A Surrey cyclist whose leg was broken after he was hit by a car has lodged an official complaint after police failed to attend the incident.

Mike Preece, aged 42, was hit by a Ford Mondeo in Weybridge as he cycled home from work, reports GetSurrey.co.uk.

The 42-year-old rang the emergency services but while paramedics arrived, police failed to do so and he was later told that they were too busy.

While the cyclist believes that the crash was an accident, he added that he would have liked police to come and investigate.

He said: “I was lying in a heap on the floor. I phoned the police. They asked if I wanted them to come out.

“I said ‘isn’t it your job to investigate?’”

Because his bike wouldn’t fit in the car of the paramedic who treated him, Mr Preece started to make his own way to the NHS walk-in emergency treatment centre in Weybridge, and was picked up by a passing motorist.

He subsequently found out that his leg had been broken in the collision, and eventually police arrived at the walk-in centre to speak to him.

He went on: “I am really shocked about what happened. I phoned up the next morning to find out why they didn’t come out and they said they were quite busy.

“You want someone there to back you up. I am battered and bruised. I can’t walk. The pain is all down my left side.”

Mr Preece, from Guildford, has lodged a complaint with the Independent Police Complaints Commission.

A spokeswoman from Surrey Police told GetSurey.co.uk that they had logged a call from him at 5.57pm on the day in question.

“Due to the minor nature of his injuries, and other operational priorities, officers did not immediately attend the scene,” she said.

“However, a call was made to Mr Preece around 20 minutes after the original call, offering him three options – to wait where he was to be seen by a police officer, for a police officer to visit him at home, or for him to attend his nearest police station.

“At this point Mr Preece ended the call.”

She added that an officer took a statement from him at the NHS walk-in centre, and told him the Traffic Processing Unit would contact him inside a fortnight.

“An account has also been taken from the other party involved and a check has been carried out on the vehicle,” she added.

“The file has been submitted to the traffic and process unit and a decision will be made as to whether any further investigation will be required.”

Organisations including RoadSafe, CTC and British Cycling have lobbied the government to review the investigation, prosecution and sentencing of cases in which cyclists and other vulnerable road users are the victims.

37 user comments

Latest 30 commentsNewest firstBest ratedAll

Open another box of policemen - oh, we've run out.

Pay more taxes and have an abundance of police ready for every call, whatever the hour.

Maybe join the Special Constabulary and help out.

Forum rudeness is for the weak - pity them.

posted by Eebijeebi [64 posts]
18th July 2014 - 20:02

49 Likes

Since the gocernment has cut Police budgets there are less resourses available to attend incidents.

Lets say for example that there was five officers covering a large area and there are 20 calls for the Police to attend. There is a limited amount of incidents they can physically be at, at any given time.

I suspect that this is not the Police being awkward, but could be that they didn't have anyone to send.

Your complaint would be better made to your MP as they control the purse strings.

Yes I am a cyclist and think the Police should attend collisions where people are injured

posted by Sensible [60 posts]
18th July 2014 - 20:12

46 Likes

Protest peacefully about fracking and suddenly all the police you could wish for will appear as if by magic.

Funny old world.

Really, though?

posted by workhard [388 posts]
18th July 2014 - 21:06

54 Likes

What strikes me as odd/worrying about this is not that the Police didn't attend (I had the same issue when I was knocked off, and decided that going to hospital took priority over establishing who was to blame) but that the paramedic attending allowed him to walk himself to hospital with a broken leg. The whole story feels like someone has got the wrong end of the stick somewhere...

posted by step-hent [694 posts]
18th July 2014 - 22:27

34 Likes

I know when I was knocked off I waited 25 minutes for the Police to arrive, even though it was 06.45 in the morning and in the middle of Edinburgh, I was just giving up and getting back on my bike when they eventually turned up. When you dial 999 and tell the operator that your a cyclist who has just been wiped out by a car driver you really do expected/hope to hear sirens heading your way within minutes.

Das's picture

posted by Das [72 posts]
18th July 2014 - 22:35

31 Likes

I am confused as if this guy really was badly injured then he should have gone to A&E in an ambulance. What he told the 999 call handler about his condition is crucial here. Obviously he would have been in shock etc and in pain which he should have told the paramedic who probably gave him the choice and he likely declined. The police role is to collect evidence not hold the injured party's hand, so they should have attended to speak to the driver, breathalyser etc and take an interim statement from the driver and also the injured party i.e. the cyclist. There is more to this story than meets the eye.

On all the occasions I've been knocked down the police have attended within half hour. The first time they took me straight to hospital, second time there was an ambulance and them and they interviewed the chav driver, third time I was hit and run and they took about 20 mins to turn up but didn't do anything except take my bike home in a van which was a help, but aside from this nothing else.

Is this guy expecting the police to be waiting in their car ready for his emergency call? But they should have turned up and could have handled it a lot better.

Airzound

posted by Airzound [372 posts]
18th July 2014 - 22:41

32 Likes

well it seems the moral of the story here is NOT to mention at all that you were riding a bicycle... Wink

posted by Paul_C [193 posts]
18th July 2014 - 23:24

42 Likes

I'm surprised he hasn't also complained that the paramedic failed to bring a cycle rack. Yes the police could do better in a perfect world by, but they may well be busy dealing with the usual mental health, incapable parents, or one of the other priorities that seems to mean that the police are able to help an ever shrinking portion of the public.
He was fit enough to walk, and when the police called to offer some reasonable options he hung up. Nothing but a helicopter and major incident response would have been good enough for this chap.

Some people are like slinkies, not much use for anything, but they bring a smile to your face when you push them down the stairs

posted by KNOWNOTHINGBOZO [14 posts]
19th July 2014 - 7:23

29 Likes

Eebijeebi wrote:
Open another box of policemen - oh, we've run out.

Pay more taxes and have an abundance of police ready for every call, whatever the hour.

funnily enough I do pay more tax than a few years back...I didn't get my top rate tax reduced by 5% a couple of years back, my tax is paye it doesn't go for a holiday in the Cayman Islands like many entertainers, financiers and corporations.
[don't get me started]

I just want the Police to do their job properly - if they won't so busy working undercover and having affairs, getting stories for tabloid newspapers and doing the dirty work for politicians (and in some cases smearing politicians!) there might be a few more available (sorry I thought I was on the guardian CiF for second]

posted by RedfishUK [58 posts]
19th July 2014 - 7:32

32 Likes

RedfishUK wrote:
Eebijeebi wrote:
Open another box of policemen - oh, we've run out.

Pay more taxes and have an abundance of police ready for every call, whatever the hour.

funnily enough I do pay more tax than a few years back...I didn't get my top rate tax reduced by 5% a couple of years back, my tax is paye it doesn't go for a holiday in the Cayman Islands like many entertainers, financiers and corporations.
[don't get me started]

I just want the Police to do their job properly - if they won't so busy working undercover and having affairs, getting stories for tabloid newspapers and doing the dirty work for politicians (and in some cases smearing politicians!) there might be a few more available (sorry I thought I was on the guardian CiF for second]

If your tax code didn't change phone or visit your local HMRC office and you will probably get a rebate. It takes about 6 weeks normally.

posted by freespirit1 [173 posts]
19th July 2014 - 9:08

33 Likes

Come on - man the hell up - Bert just cycled 18 odd miles with worse injuries and he had to contend with that evil Belkin squad trashing his bikes. Devil

posted by leqin [120 posts]
19th July 2014 - 9:32

41 Likes

A similar thing has just happened to me, was threatened with death and then pursued by a driver who eventually ran me over and drove off.
999 call made, but police did not attend until I rang them 5 hours later and made a bit of a fuss.
I was attended by a paramedic crew and taken to A&E, but there was a point in this story where I was a lone women laid out having just been the victim of a premeditated violent assault absolutely terrified that the perpetrator was going to come back and kill me.
No effort was made to find the perpetrator until 2 days later, though they knew his home address and what his likely movements would be in that time.
I was the victim of a premeditated violent assault, but because my perpetrators weapon of choice was his car, the police didn't initially take it seriously.
They are now, but the initial delay has allowed my perpetrator to abscond and hide evidence. I am now trapped in my house scared to go out in case I cross paths with him again.

posted by Sara_H [56 posts]
19th July 2014 - 11:25

27 Likes

Sara_H wrote:
A similar thing has just happened to me, was threatened with death and then pursued by a driver who eventually ran me over and drove off.
999 call made, but police did not attend until I rang them 5 hours later and made a bit of a fuss.
I was attended by a paramedic crew and taken to A&E, but there was a point in this story where I was a lone women laid out having just been the victim of a premeditated violent assault absolutely terrified that the perpetrator was going to come back and kill me.
No effort was made to find the perpetrator until 2 days later, though they knew his home address and what his likely movements would be in that time.
I was the victim of a premeditated violent assault, but because my perpetrators weapon of choice was his car, the police didn't initially take it seriously.
They are now, but the initial delay has allowed my perpetrator to abscond and hide evidence. I am now trapped in my house scared to go out in case I cross paths with him again.

From your experience perhaps I shouldn't waste my time going to the police station tomorrow to do a statement.

I went for a quick spin yesterday around 8:00pm in Birmingham (15 miles) taking in one of my favorite hills (Mucklow Hill near Halesowen). At the roundabout before the hill 2 black males in their early 20s in a blue people carrier (possibly a Citroen Picasso) shouted something - I wasn't taking any notice, neither did I hear what they said over the loud music they were playing. Anyway, I sprinted away and onto the hill. Not long afterwards the car pulled up along side me and grabbed my seat, I went down, they sped off.

I got up after being dazed for a while, cars passing me without a care, and road home.

The worst part in all this (well slightly less than my best assos bibs and top having holes in them, oh and the bruises/grazes to my hip, elbow and knee), having to be wary about every car that passes you.

I was surprised that my carbon giant wasn't trashed...I hope it isn't hiding something from me...

posted by ronin [151 posts]
19th July 2014 - 12:27

32 Likes

I would still go to the police.

Although I'm very disappointed with the initial response, and I will be making an issue of it in the long run, the police are now investigating.
In my case there's a lack of witnesses and I think any forensic evidence will have been lost by the time they catch up with the perpetrator, so I doubt there'll be a prosecution, but what has happened to me will become a part of police intelligence on this man, which may be of benefit to future victims.

posted by Sara_H [56 posts]
19th July 2014 - 12:54

27 Likes

Story out of nothing here. There are not enough of us to attend every single incident within a split second and the sooner people realise that the better.

Some pathetic comments as normal by people who have f all idea about the Police or what we have to deal with so they make it up as they go along.

There are no stupid questions, just stupid people.

stumps's picture

posted by stumps [2809 posts]
19th July 2014 - 13:16

20 Likes

stumps wrote:

Story out of nothing here. There are not enough of us to attend every single incident within a split second and the sooner people realise that the better.

Some pathetic comments as normal by people who have f all idea about the Police or what we have to deal with so they make it up as they go along.

It wasn't even a question of a split second it was AT ALL if you followed the story: "I phoned the police. They asked if I wanted them to come out".

So someone has been mowed down by a car and has broken bones and the police shouldn't attend because they're busy elsewhere or - perhaps in your case - couldn't be arsed? Regardless of whether the driver might have been purposely attempting to maim, was drunk or whatever.

No wonder satisfaction with the police - and trust in them - is at an all time low.

Luminosity's picture

posted by Luminosity [73 posts]
19th July 2014 - 18:47

20 Likes

I am the cyclist in question here.

Just to clarify a few points, I was sat with the paramedic when the police phoned me and asked if I really wanted them to attend, which I confirmed I did. I was then asked what I wanted them to do, to which I responded "so that you can see what happened", and I got the flippant response of "we don't know what happened, we were not there". A conversation took place between me and the officer, and he made it abundantly clear that they would not be attending any time soon.

Yes my tibia was broken, I had surgery on Thursday to reconstruct the tibia plateau. I have also got a fractured humerus by the shoulder, but have been told there is not a lot that can be done about it as it will heal itself.

At the roadside the paramedic had me sign a form to release me from his care, as I made a foolish and rushed decision not to abandon my bike by the road, which would have been enevitably stolen. If the pold had attended I would have gladly gone to hospital, safe in the knollaged that the police had my bike. Yes I made a foolish decision, but was not thinking rationally due to the accident I had been involved in.

I thought I could make it to hospital myself, but once the adrenalin had worn off, I realized that I could not walk any further, and a nice chap in a passing van picked me up and took me to Weybridge walk in center, where the nurse was insistent that I went straight to A&E.

I have no complaint about the health care I received, but I was truly shocked that the pold did not attend.

Any questions, please ask away.

posted by wizards-sleeve [10 posts]
19th July 2014 - 21:12

22 Likes

gazza_d wrote:
If you go down, stay down until they arrive.

Moan about back/neck pain if necessary until full ambulance and police arrive.

This is a disgrace, think there is an issue with the care he received from the Ambulance service as well. Only sending a rapid response then leaving him to make his own way to a walk in centre with a broken leg.

Sounds like he possibly did the "I'm fine" routine, and this was accepted at face value by both services, but a failure in duty of care regardless

Yep, I did think that I was OK, and did the "I'm fine" routine with the paramedic....adrenaline is great! However the police phoned me up before I had been assessed by the paramedic, so I am at a loss how the pold diagnosed my injuries as minor over the phone.

posted by wizards-sleeve [10 posts]
19th July 2014 - 21:13

21 Likes

KNOWNOTHINGBOZO wrote:
I'm surprised he hasn't also complained that the paramedic failed to bring a cycle rack. Yes the police could do better in a perfect world by, but they may well be busy dealing with the usual mental health, incapable parents, or one of the other priorities that seems to mean that the police are able to help an ever shrinking portion of the public.
He was fit enough to walk, and when the police called to offer some reasonable options he hung up. Nothing but a helicopter and major incident response would have been good enough for this chap.

Expecting the paramedic to bring a cycle rack would be rediculious, however expecting the police to attend is not. I have no problem with the health care I received, and have no inclination to complain.

Hope you never need the emergency services in your hour of need, and if you are ever involved in an accident I'm sure that you will not expect any emergency services to attend.

As a side note, when I was in hospital overnight waiting for surgery, some little chav on the ward had a 2 person police guard all night to make sure he didn't run off....even though his leg was in plaster.

posted by wizards-sleeve [10 posts]
19th July 2014 - 21:13

14 Likes

Hope your recovery is swift... I personally believe the police should always attend these incidents. (Note i dont call them accidents - that just means not paying due care on the side of one party or the other).

posted by rockdemon [7 posts]
19th July 2014 - 21:35

19 Likes

there is actually very little education as to what a cyclist should do in the event of an accident.
From my experience
1. dont move. if you're obstructing traffic the police will turn up.
2. Get checked out. Adrenalin made me think i could get home rather than going straight to hospital. Adrenalin does play tricks on you. Broken shoulders are what i had and thought i could get by with...

I'd like to know what others think.

posted by rockdemon [7 posts]
19th July 2014 - 22:22

19 Likes

Agree about adrenaline. It wasn't until several hours later that the full extent of the pain I was in kicked in.
What shocked me most was that my attacker had explicitly threatened to kill me, pursued me and then ran me over - the police knew this and didn't attend. If he'd attacked me with any other weapon in these circumstances they'd have attended, but because he hit me with a car they didn't bother.

posted by Sara_H [56 posts]
20th July 2014 - 10:53

13 Likes

Luminosity wrote:
stumps wrote:

Story out of nothing here. There are not enough of us to attend every single incident within a split second and the sooner people realise that the better.

Some pathetic comments as normal by people who have f all idea about the Police or what we have to deal with so they make it up as they go along.

It wasn't even a question of a split second it was AT ALL if you followed the story: "I phoned the police. They asked if I wanted them to come out".

So someone has been mowed down by a car and has broken bones and the police shouldn't attend because they're busy elsewhere or - perhaps in your case - couldn't be arsed? Regardless of whether the driver might have been purposely attempting to maim, was drunk or whatever.

No wonder satisfaction with the police - and trust in them - is at an all time low.

Lol, like i said people with f all idea making up pathetic comments, i rest my case Rolling On The Floor

There are no stupid questions, just stupid people.

stumps's picture

posted by stumps [2809 posts]
20th July 2014 - 11:19

16 Likes

Rest your case......I think you have to make any case yet.

This attitude seems itentical to the attitude of the officer that told me they wont be attending any time soon. Must be part of the police training, informing us tax payers know that we know f all. Nice technique.

posted by wizards-sleeve [10 posts]
20th July 2014 - 12:05

22 Likes

stumps wrote:
Lol, like i said people with f all idea making up pathetic comments, i rest my case Rolling On The Floor

Well with an argument as strong as that just as well you're not a lawyer.

Luminosity's picture

posted by Luminosity [73 posts]
20th July 2014 - 12:40

23 Likes

wizards-sleeve wrote:

Rest your case......I think you have to make any case yet.

This attitude seems itentical to the attitude of the officer that told me they wont be attending any time soon. Must be part of the police training, informing us tax payers know that we know f all. Nice technique.

If there aren't enough officers, there aren't enough officers. You can't just magically conjure up a few more by saying "but I pay taxes!" ... We have, collectively, voted into office a government that cuts and axes services across the board, babbling about "Big Society instead of Big State" while clearly demonstrating they're just Big Morons. Like everyone who voted for them.

This story is tragic, but it's not the police that's to blame it's the voting populace who get the government and public services they chose. And that includes all of us. Sorry.

Work harder. Buy a tank.

userfriendly's picture

posted by userfriendly [288 posts]
20th July 2014 - 12:47

18 Likes

userfriendly wrote:
wizards-sleeve wrote:

Rest your case......I think you have to make any case yet.

This attitude seems itentical to the attitude of the officer that told me they wont be attending any time soon. Must be part of the police training, informing us tax payers know that we know f all. Nice technique.

If there aren't enough officers, there aren't enough officers. You can't just magically conjure up a few more by saying "but I pay taxes!" ... We have, collectively, voted into office a government that cuts and axes services across the board, babbling about "Big Society instead of Big State" while clearly demonstrating they're just Big Morons. Like everyone who voted for them.

This story is tragic, but it's not the police that's to blame it's the voting populace who get the government and public services they chose. And that includes all of us. Sorry.

I think the problem is politicians. I have the answer to this though, and it requires you to think about its implications. Do not give a position of leadership to those who ask for it.
How does it work? For example you want an education minister, you get all the top teachers together to decide who it should be based on merit and suitability for the post and the same in every area of expertise required to run the government.

I've always thought it funny, in every other area in life when you want a service, you always try to find the best qualified e.g. A doctor, dentitist or mechanic etc, but with politicians popularity rules.

posted by ronin [151 posts]
20th July 2014 - 15:55

15 Likes

Ok, my thoughts on this... Are the majority happy with the 'service' the gentleman in this story experienced... Would you be happy to receive the same experience if it was you in that position?

I'm hoping most of you will say no.

The poi t I'm getting to, is that it's a shit experience, and the attitude of the representative police officer on here , to me, stinks.

I work in sales... I don't get to say 'hey, it's not my fault, there's not enough of us sales people available to make every sale'... Why should it be different for public services.

If as a police officer you believe you are stretched beyond what is reasonable to do the job, complain, go on strike, whatever it takes to make a change.

You state that we are in no place to complain, yet if no one complains are resources going to become better or worse?

It sucks, we should not accept it, any of us, or its only going to get worse.

Now I'll move to the paramedic. He failed to recognise that the person in question had moderate to significant injuries. I'm am sure he would 've used the argument 'if its not so serious to leave the bike, it's not so serious...'

That is bull poo. If anyone was asked to take out between £500 - 2000 on the side of the road for a lift to hospital, I'm sure most people would refuse.

The paramedic should be trained to understand that ... It's piss poor to walk away.

Well my thoughts anyway.

posted by Jimmy Ray Will [305 posts]
20th July 2014 - 18:36

9 Likes

Lack of resources is an excuse that's trotted out frequently when an individual receives a poor service from the police - but attend any newsworthy event, be that a sporting event, a political event, or just a crime against a politician or minor celebrity or that is currently "fashionable" and you'll find that those resources become magically available.
Part of the problem is about how the police prioratise, and its very clear that road crime is not a priority.
I'm now in the position that any forensic evidence of what happened to me is lost (and any realistic chance of prosecution), because it took 48 hours for them to go to the perpetrators address, by which time he was long gone.

posted by Sara_H [56 posts]
20th July 2014 - 19:32

15 Likes

Jimmy Ray Will wrote:

You state that we are in no place to complain, yet if no one complains are resources going to become better or worse?

I didn't say we're in no place to complain. We are. But it doesn't help to complain about the symptoms, we need to tackle the cause. Which is a shit government with a fatally flawed ideology that is running this society into the ground.

Sara_H wrote:

Part of the problem is about how the police prioritise, and its very clear that road crime is not a priority.

Completely agree with this, that seems indeed to be the case. But they will prioritise the way they're told to prioritise, so - like the lack of resources - this is a problem that needs to be tackled from the top.

Btw, your story is equally shocking if not more so than the one from the article. Sad Even though it's not likely, I do hope they catch the guy somehow. What a disgusting individual.

Work harder. Buy a tank.

userfriendly's picture

posted by userfriendly [288 posts]
20th July 2014 - 20:08

8 Likes