Saturday, May 21, 2016

Arrogant and lying bunglers: That is the best summary of many British cops.  And apologies are beyond them

Armed police puncture innocent motorist's four tyres with stinger device then tell him to pay £150 to be towed to the compound

A father-of-one who was driving to collect his daughter had his tyres punctured with a stinger device and ordered out of his van at gunpoint by armed police - only to be told they had got the wrong man.

Nathan Poole, 32, was driving near Ston Easton, in Somerset, at around 4pm last Friday when he was brought to an abrupt halt by armed police who threw a stinger across the road.

After ordering a petrified Mr Poole out his van, bungling police told him it was a case of mistaken identity and drove off in the opposite direction.

Mr Poole then waited 45 minutes for the police recovery truck to take him to a garage for new tyres.

When it finally arrived he was informed the van would be towed to the police compound in Wells and he would have to fork out £150 for a recovery charge and £600 for four new tyres.

Recalling the terrifying ordeal, Mr Poole said: 'I nearly had a heart attack when it first happened. It was scary. 'I was distracted by a man who was hiding behind a tree. He popped his head out which made me take my eyes off the road.

'The next thing I knew was there was a noise under the van and all my tyres had gone. I originally thought I had driven over an animal or something.

'I stopped the van and went to get out. I put one foot on the road and the next thing I knew was that there were two armed police pointing their guns at me. 'They ordered me to get back into the van in a violent and authoritative tone.'

He added: 'I didn't have £150 to give him. I thought it was incredibly unfair.  'They should have sorted it out straight away but I wasn't going to stand and argue with two big police officers with guns. 'Obviously they had a lot on their minds and they were in the middle of an operation but it was quite cheeky really.'

After ordering him out the van, police sheepishly told him they had got the wrong man. They had actually been searching for Nicholas Caple, 29, who is still on the run. He is wanted for burglary, assaulting a police officer and escaping police custody.

As police continued their unsuccessful search for Caple, Mr Poole was left stranded in his Vauxhall Vivaro - still 15 miles away from his two-year-old daughter Callie he was collecting.

Police insisted a police recovery truck would take him to a garage for new tyres and he could claim the money back from the force's legal services team.  But when it turned up he was told he would have to pay a £150 fee to have the van towed to the police compound in Wells.

'I said no way and basically he cancelled the job and left,' said Mr Poole. 'I phoned the company who own the van I was driving, they were amazing and they organised a mobile mechanic to come and fit four new tyres. They covered the cost too for which I am grateful.  'I got home at about 9pm. Luckily my girlfriend picked my daughter up for me.'

Mr Poole, a satellite engineer, who lives in Droitwich Spa, Worcestershire, with partner Kelly Rimmer, 30, added: 'I'm more light about it now but I didn't find it funny at all at the time.  'It was absolutely terrifying. I lost four hours because I was 80 miles away from home and it completely ruined my day.

'A police officer rang me later in the evening and told me that they were trying to catch a man wanted for robberies of cash machines.  'The officers were also involved in the incident in Bristol city centre at the Marriott Hotel. He told me that the man they were after had got away.'

The embarrassing gaffe was part of the chaotic search operation to try and catch Caple.  A team of 30 officers rushed to the Marriott Hotel in Bristol last Friday and it was sealed off for half an hour before it was clear he had escaped again.  Avon and Somerset Constabulary said the search for Caple is ongoing and appealed for him to hand himself in.

Referring to the hotel operation, Detective Inspector Neil Meade said: 'This was a large scale operation and used a number of resources from across the force including the helicopter.  'This response was entirely appropriate when dealing with one of our most wanted offenders.'  He added: 'I'd like to repeat our appeal to the public to help us catch him.

'Although, we would advise all members of the public not to approach him if seen, we need you to call us straight away if you have any information.  'I would also appeal directly to Caple to hand himself in now.'

Caple is described as white, of slim build, 5ft 8ins tall with blue eyes and blonde hair.

An Avon and Somerset Police spokesman denied any weapons had been pointed at the driver. He said: 'No firearms were drawn and the man was told to return to his vehicle for his own safety – this was a busy road.

'He was then driven by officers to a recovery centre where his vehicle was taken.

'He was contacted later the same day by an officer to explain why this had happened, but if he is unhappy with this, we would ask that he makes a formal complaint.  'We can then look into the full circumstances.'

Original report here

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