Police apologise after officer leaves cyclist voicemail “taking the pi***”

Officer forgot to hang up when leaving message for Gemma Dobson over incident she reported

Surrey Police have issued an apology to a cyclist after an officer who phoned her regarding an incident she had reported forgot to hang up, resulting in her receiving a three-minute voicemail of him “taking the p****” about it with her colleagues.

Gemma Dobson, a fitness coach GB age group triathlete, said in a tweet that she has subsequently deleted that the message had left her “fuming.” A screenshot of her post was retweeted by the broadcaster and cyclist, Jeremy Vine.

She later tweeted to say that her complaint had been dealt with “quickly and professionally” and, like Vine, showed her appreciation for Surrey Police’s Roads Policing Unit, who regularly correct drivers on Twitter over misconceptions about the law as it applies to cyclists. EMBED

She had contacted Surrey Police to report an incident in which she had been clipped by a car with one of the vehicle’s occupants then throwing an unspecified liquid at her, reports Get Surrey.

When an officer rang her to say that the force would not be taking any action, the call went to voicemail and with the call not terminated correctly then went on to laugh about the incident with colleagues, mocking Mrs Dobson.

She wrote on Twitter: "Fuming @SurreyPolice {officer] left me a voicemail advising not investigating my being clipped by a car and having drink thrown over me. He didn't hang up properly and I have a three minute voicemail of him taking the p*** out of my incident to his colleagues. Disgusting.”

Surrey Police relied and said that "this behaviour falls well below the standards we expect of our officers and staff".

It added in a longer statement published on Get Surrey:

"We received a report from a cyclist that a driver had made contact during a close overtake, and that the vehicle passenger had then poured a liquid on her. An officer left a voicemail message to explain that we had recorded the liquid throwing as a crime but, as it would not be possible to identify the passenger, it would not be further investigated. The close pass has been recorded as a collision, and is still under investigation.

"After leaving his message, the officer did not hang up the phone correctly and further conversation within the office was also recorded on the victim's voicemail.

"Following her complaint on Twitter, the cyclist kindly shared the recording with the duty chief inspector [on June 12]. We have identified all the officers involved, and they will receive management advice and further training when next on duty.

"This incident falls well below the high standards we expect from our officers and staff, and we have apologised to the victim. She has told us that she does not want to pursue a formal complaint.

"At no point have we asked the cyclist to delete her tweet, however we are aware that the tweet has been deleted, and would ask that her privacy be respected."

After cobbling together a few hundred quid during his student days off the back of a hard winter selling hats (long story), Jack bought his first road bike at the age of 20 and has been hooked ever since. He was Staff Writer at 220 Triathlon magazine for two years before joining road.cc in 2017, and reports on all things tech as well as editing the road.cc live blog. He is also the news editor of our electric-powered sister site eBikeTips. Jack's preferred events are time trials, sportives, triathlons and pogo sticking (the latter being another long story), and on Sunday afternoons he can often be found on an M5 service station indulging in his favourite post-race meal of 20 chicken nuggets, a sausage roll, caramel shortbread and a large strawberry milkshake. 

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