Hatfield man banned from calling police over parking and vehicle-related issues
PUBLISHED: 12:45 22 November 2017 | UPDATED: 12:52 22 November 2017
Danny Loo Photography 2017
A Hatfield charity shop manager is “very upset” after receiving a community protection warning banning him from calling the police non-emergency number, 101.
Shane Scott, who lives in the Bishops Rise area of Hatfield, was shocked to be given the ban on Saturday, November 18.
According to the warning letter, police state the reason for the order is as follows: “Persistent calls to the police control room in relation to parking issues and other vehicle and bike issues over a significant period of time.
“These persistent calls are having a significant impact on control room staff being able to answer other calls from the public.
“In the last six weeks you have made 20 calls to police about parking issues.”
The warning bans Mr Scott from “calling police in relation to parking issues and to direct these issues to Welwyn Hatfield Council who have responsibility for parking enforcement”.
The warning letter also states: “In relation to any other vehicle issues, you must not call the police non-emergency number.
“You must communicate such incidents to the police via email or letter.”
Mr Scott, 34, told the Welwyn Hatfield Times: “If I call the police about any cyclists or parked cars on the pavement or dangerous driving, the police will fine me or take me to court.
“They say to me it’s having a detrimental impact on their call volumes.
“It usually takes me 30 minutes to get through and they say the reason it takes 30 minutes to get through is ‘because of people like you’.
“They don’t want to do their job. They’re too lazy.
“Last night there were cars skidding round the roundabout and normally I would phone up but if I do, I would get into trouble.
“In Chantry Lane cars are parked along the pavement and lane causing an obstruction.
“They also drive in and out, dropping litter and driving recklessly or dangerously.
“I phone up about the cyclists racing up and down the footpath with no lights on at night.
“Bishops Rise has a public footpath and it’s not a cycle lane.
“Last night I was walking the dog and two cyclists nearly knocked me over.”
Referring to the police warning, Mr Scott said: “I’m very upset because the police are meant to be there to help us.
“I’m not allowed to phone up about any traffic related issues or anything to do with motorists or cyclists.
“I’m a local resident in the community.
“I do five days a week voluntary work.
“It’s out of order serving me this order.
“For the local police to treat me like that, it’s wrong.
“They should be here to serve and protect the public, not stop the public from making phone calls.
“Everyone I have spoken to about this says it is wrong.”
Mr Scott said he had been advised to put all his concerns into a weekly email to police.
Sergeant Pauline Flanagan, from the Hatfield Safer Neighbourhood Team, said: “We have issued Mr Scott with a community protection warning, under the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014, due to the persistent number of calls he is making to our non-emergency number 101.
“In the past six weeks he has made 20 calls to our control room, which is having an impact on communications operators who are then not able to answer other calls from the public.
“The local authority has responsibility for parking enforcement, however Mr Scott has been advised that if a crime is in progress or there is threat to life, he can call us on 999.
“Mr Scott has been advised that he can make contact with us around any parking issues via our email address.
“As an alternative to picking up the phone, you can now report crime or concern online at www.herts.police.uk/report or speak to a communications operator on web chat here at https://www.herts.police.uk/Information-and-services/About-us/Contact.aspx
“If you misuse 101 or 999, we can take action against you.”
Who is responsible for what
Welwyn Hatfield Council is responsible for enforcement action where there are parking restrictions on roads and these are being breached.
The council would also get involved if a resident gets in touch about an obstruction across a dropped curb in front of a residential driveway.
An obstruction that may prevent the emergency services getting down a road, for example a parked car, is considered a matter for police.
Cycling along a pavement or walkway is considered a matter for police.
The county council has a general duty to reduce accidents on roads by installing traffic calming or other highway improvements.
Dangerous or reckless driving is a matter for the police.