Friday, September 25, 2015

Motorcyclist crash victim who was left lying in a ditch for more than two hours because three police forces couldn't decide who should rescue him

An injured motorcyclist was left lying in a ditch for more than two hours because three police forces could not decide which of them should rescue him.

Biker Richard Collins, 49, crashed off the B645 road and into a ditch after swerving to avoid a car, near the village of Tilbrook in Cambridgeshire, which borders Bedfordshire and Northamptonshire on Sunday afternoon.

He called the police shortly after 4pm, but emergency services did not arrive until 6.40pm.

He was eventually taken to hospital in a police car with a broken arm, and the mix-up was branded a 'scandal' by a local police and crime commissioner.

Mr Collins had been out riding with five other motorcyclists and was at the back of the group when he hit the uneven road.

He said that a man in a pickup truck witnessed the accident, and told him that police and an ambulance were on their way.

'I managed to get back out of the ditch and on the road and sat and waited,' he said.

'I think I was in quite a lot of pain, I can't really remember but I was trying not to move my arm.  'It was at a right angle, like a Harry Potter bent, floppy arm, and I had bruising.

'I waited about an hour and a quarter and then called 101. I didn't want to call 999 as I didn't want to block the line.

'At that point Northamptonshire Police said my call had been logged and someone was on their way.'

Cambridgeshire Constabulary said they received a call at 4.20pm from Northamptonshire Police but after assessing the incident referred it back to them.

Bedfordshire Police said they were informed about the job at 4.25pm by Northamptonshire Police, but told them it was not in their patch.

At 5.40pm, an hour and 15 minutes later, Bedfordshire Police were informed that emergency services had not attended the crash site, prompting them to dispatched a police car.

However, due to the distance the car had to travel and difficulties in locating in the casualty, the car did not reach Mr Collins, from Sandy, Bedfordshire, until 6.40pm.

He was then taken in the car to Bedford Hospital as no ambulance had attended.  

'The police officer could not believe nobody had responded and wasn't going to wait for an ambulance to come and she took me to hospital, she was wonderful.

'I'm annoyed because nobody has apologised to me about it. I've seen reports saying they have apologised but not to me. They can just pick up the phone and do it.

Bedfordshire Police and Cambridgeshire Police said they believed East Midlands Ambulance Service was contacted about the crash.

However, the ambulance service told the BBC it could not find the incident on its logs.

The postal address of Tilbrook is Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire, but on map it sits on the borders of the three counties.

Cambridgeshire Police have said investigations have confirmed the incident took place in Bedfordshire.

A spokesman said: 'Investigations have confirmed that the incident took place in Bedfordshire. However it remains clear that a better response should have been given by all three forces.

'We will now work with Bedfordshire and Northamptonshire to find out what went wrong and ensure this is not repeated.'

Police and Crime Commissioner for Northamptonshire Adam Simmonds described the case as a 'scandal' and said 'someone should answer for that'.

Northamptonshire Police said have said they are looking into the 'unacceptable delay'.

Original report here

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