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To thnk that the police have their priorities all wrong.

(20 Posts)
HenryIX Tue 23-Aug-16 22:17:50

Or perhaps it's society in general.
Over the last couple of years, we have been in contact with the police to report a couple of things. First was minor, kids making silly phone calls and sending us take always in the middle of the night. Police investigated, but ultimately the only thing that stopped it was changing our phone number. The second was a bit more serious. Dd and her friend saw a flasher. They gave statements, video evidence etc, and last this we heard they were building a case against a suspect.
A few weeks ago, dh's car was hit, overnight. No one was in it, not much damage, but we had to report it to the police to get a reference number for the insurance.
Then he got a letter from something called 'victim care' offering counselling, practical support and all manner of other things.
Why is crime against property taken so much more seriously than crime against people?
Dh was not upset or in any way emotionally affected by having his car bumped, but dd was very upset by her experience, as was her friend. Why were they not offered support?
Its laughable really, that we see a scratched car as more important than a man exposing himself to two pre teenage kids.

SeenoevilHearnoevilSpeaknoevil Tue 23-Aug-16 22:23:27

Years and years ago I was walking home with my daughter in her buggy and a man ran in front and starting playing with his bits. I ran past and called the police, at the time I was ringing the police he was at the park masturbating in front of the children (a witness came forward and times added up) so it went to court. I was offered Victim support etc. I can't imagine why it wasn't offered this time?! Sorry you've have bad luck lately! flowers

trufflehunterthebadger Tue 23-Aug-16 22:23:57

Exposure is what is known as a Regina crime - ie a crime against the state. On my force's crime recording system Regina is the victim. Your daughter would be a witness. While in everyone's eyes they are a victim, our crime recording systems only send victim letters to victims of "personal crime" eg. The owner of a car which has been damaged. Also i assume that the report of damage has been filed rather than sent for further enquiries ?

It is not a sign that property crime is taken less seriously as clearly from what you have posted they are investigating the exposure and not the damage which surely should be an indication in itself.

HenryIX Tue 23-Aug-16 22:30:33

True truffle, about the investigations. I was just v surprised that he got this letter, for something that, to us, didn't really seem like a crime, just a bit of bad luck and a dick who drove away without leaving their number. He certainly doesnt need 'victim support'

SpiritedLondon Tue 23-Aug-16 23:00:51

It may be that your force area has a number of priority crimes and performance in those areas are closely scrutinised. In London the priorities are set by the Mayors office and include motor vehicle crime, but not other types of crime that you might imagine would be a priority ( low level, non contact sexual offending will almost definitely not be a priority) . The letter that you have received is generated automatically when the crime is recorded but I presume the matter is not actively being investigated. The flasher is obviously been taken seriously as they have pursued video statements with your DD and her friend. At some point you will recieve a similar letter offering victim support however in the meantime there will be an " officer in the case" who can offer assistance in this area if you feel it necessary. Victim support will definitely be an option and should be available locally. I have no doubt that the officer will have access to the appropriate numbers if you ask them. There will also be some assistance available should the suspect be identified and charged to court as your DD will almost definitely be required to attend court and give evidence ( assuming the defendant pleads not guilty). Again the officer can offer advice on the special measures available to make this process less traumatic. Hope that helps.

trufflehunterthebadger Tue 23-Aug-16 23:01:26

In my force we dont have the option to untick the box saying "victim support referral". It's stupid.

You can self-refer to VS btw smile

HenryIX Wed 24-Aug-16 05:02:43

I still don't see how motor vehicle a priority over 'low level non contact sexual offending.'
I know there are much worse crimes that happen to people, anf that they should be prioritised, but anyone in their right mind would put a child as more important than a car.
Wouldn't they?
Anyway, it's been several months since dd went through all that. We have heard nothing further. She won't be needed for court, so I think that's that. I doubt we will hear anymore. It's behind her now, and I have no wish to drag it up again, so won't be seeing support, unless she asks for it.

SpiritedLondon Wed 24-Aug-16 18:46:45

Yes I'm not saying that it should be prioritised that way but it is. Mainly I think because someone asks the public what their priorities are and they raise the issues that impact them the most. Theft from motor vehicle, criminal damage etc happen far more often than indecent exposure and as a result become priorities for the police to try and address. It doesn't mean that it was investigated in lieu of the indecent exposure - that offence was quite clearly investigated as evidenced by the video statement etc. It's more about targets.

Ratley Wed 24-Aug-16 18:58:41

Well, I've been flashed at several times since I was about 14, it makes me laugh,I can't say I've felt like a victim, just felt the bloke was an idiot.
When someone drove into my car I was absolutely furious, and remained so for days.
So for me car damage is far worse than being flashed at.

HenryIX Wed 24-Aug-16 19:05:50

Wow Ratley, you were a brave kid then!

My dd is younger than 14, and its not something I want her to have to go through ever again.

The car, on the other hand, is just an inconvinence, we have a courtesy car and the insurers are paying for the repairs.

HornyTortoise Wed 24-Aug-16 19:09:40

When my mum was having issues with an abusive partner, they couldn't do anything apparently. Even when she showed proof of the threats they were unwilling to even speak to him about it. He then broke into her house but had left when they got there, again 'no proof' apparently so nothing done. Then he broke in again and hit her infront of me. I took my baby brother and my sister upstairs, came back down, punched him and held him against the wall until the police got there so they couldn't claim 'no proof' again. I was then arrested for assault (apparently they had proof I assaulted him as I still had him against the wall when they got there), where he was spoken to and SENT HOME! I got a caution and released in the end.

He was eventually caught in the act breaking a window and assaulting my mother again and a restraining order was granted and he got a 2 year suspended sentence (so nothing)

I do try not to tar the whole force with the same brush but its hard to trust the police to do the right thing because of this, and I am deeply mistrustful of them as a result.

On the other hand they seem to be shit hot if its something to fine someone for, I have noticed. On the spot fines and such..a lot of police time is spent looking for offenders when cash is to be brought in :S

Ratley Wed 24-Aug-16 19:28:30

Not brave, just brought up not hiding nakedness so not shocked by it.
Can understand why your DD is/was though.

Snoopysimaginaryfriend Wed 24-Aug-16 19:32:04

Receiving a letter regarding victim support is not an indicator of how serious the police deem your crime to be. Where I work there is box on a screen to tick. Some officers tick the box for everything, some only tick it for what they deem to be serious crimes and others never seem to tick it. All victims can access victim support services if they wish to. If we are unable to investigate the crime further you will receive notification in writing.

I know some people have been let down by the police but I would also like to point out that decisions to proceed with investigations and charge offenders are often taken by the CPS. The CPS will not contact you to explain the decision so people often presume the police have made the decision because it is us who will contact you on their behalf

HenryIX Wed 24-Aug-16 21:34:10

Thanks for explaining that Snoopy.

I have no doubt that the police are investigting to the best of thier abilities, I was just struck by how they felt we might need support for a damaged car and not for a pre teenager seeing an indecent exposure.

But now you have explained it, it makes more sense.

Heatherjayne1972 Wed 24-Aug-16 22:16:45

Mm well my ex punched me in the head and it took the police a week to turn up to talk to me about it
Had numerous call outs to them ending up with ex being given ( and then breaking) a court order
At no time was I offered a chat with victim support
So yeah police are pretty useless imo

Snoopysimaginaryfriend Wed 24-Aug-16 22:33:36

No problem henryIX. In London we are also supposed to give you a victim care card whether someone scratched your car or smashes a bottle over your head. Of course when we run out at the station that often becomes a bit of note paper with your reference on it.

I know the police are far from perfect, both my family and I have been let down by them. But then I have also been badly let down by the NHS and I can still appreciate that the majority of NHS staff are hard workers who have to operate within ridiculous bureaucracies, much like the police smile

HelenaDove Wed 24-Aug-16 22:49:00

Its a lack of consistency that ive experienced.

Last year a snake got into my flat. It was crawling up the KITCHEN wall. I panicked......phoned the police on 101 who said "its not our job" I did phone the RSPCA as well who also refused.

But when you find articles online where police have attended the same sort of incident involving the same sort of snake when it happens to have got into a posh GARDEN in Hampstead it does make you wonder.

If its not their job then fine. Its not their job. But that means that its not their job whether its a high earner in a house in Hampstead or a social housing tenant in a small flat.

HenryIX Wed 24-Aug-16 22:57:30

I did not intend this to be a police bashing thread, I just thought that the policy was a bit fucked up.

But now It's been explained to me how it works, that some poeple just tick the box and others don't, I'm happy.

Let's not make this a nasty thread, please

5Foot5 Thu 25-Aug-16 22:22:52

It has struck me before that motoring offences get a more vigorous response than some others one might suppose more serious.

Two incidents in our town:

1. Armed robbery at an off license. The two young women working were locked in a store room. They had mobiles and dialled 999. They also rang their parents. Parents came to the rescue long before police showed up. Apparently the women had been unable to give the postcode of the shop.

2. Ram raid at a town centre jewellers at 5pm. Shop can be no more than five minutes brisk walk from the police station. Police took 30 minutes to attend

However, round about the same time we were out at the weekend and driving through a small village a few miles out of town. We came across a road accident, two smashed cars but only one person. This was a woman alone standing by the road. We stopped to offer help but it turned out to be all in hand. She had been the victim of hit and run, the other driver had run off, but she was unhurt and had already rung the police and her husband who was on the way. We carried on but within minutes we passed not one but FOUR police cars with blue lights racing to the scene.

Cannot understand really why a minor RTA warrants a speedier response than an armed robbery.

Snoopysimaginaryfriend Fri 26-Aug-16 13:36:38

5foot5 obviously I don't know about each of those individual circumstances but there are numerous reasons why the police are not always as prompt as you would like.

The information has to go from the caller to the operator who may be in a call centre miles away from the incident with no knowledge of the local area who then has to find the location on a map and dispatch the call via a computer to officers on the ground. I cannot tell you the amount of times I have been rushing to victims in London who are unable to tell me where they are. They may give you the name of a road that is several miles long with numerous off licenses, post offices etc and they then won't or can't answer the phone when I try to call them to clarify.

A hit and run can be a very serious incident. I've been to hit and runs where the driver has run away because a) they were drunk b) they were wanted for very serious crimes c) they had just stolen the car d) they had just committed an armed robbery e) the car was full of drugs, the list goes on.

Usually though officers just can't get to you because we are at other calls that we simply can't leave.

The London borough I used to work on would routinely only have 14 officers on duty to answer calls on a Saturday night. Once we run out of officers there is no one to send in our place.

I think the statistic is that over 60% of calls to police involve some form of mental health crisis. Social services, the ambulance service and mental health hospitals are stretched so they call the police. If you call an ambulance because someone is self harming don't be surprised if the police turn up instead. In south London police cars are now carrying defibrillators and being sent to suspected heart attack calls because there aren't enough ambulances.

As I've said before, yes there are some bad, lazy officers out there but the overwhelming majority are working very hard.

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