Monday, 16 November 2009

Don't Lock Yourself Out in Scotland

An 80-year-old Dundee woman locked herself out of her flat. Nothing unusual, some of us have done that more than once I should think.

Margaret Andrews of Moncur Crescent had gone shopping on Strathmartine Road (less than a ten minute walk) and was on her way home when she discovered her keys were missing.

When a community nurse arrived for a scheduled visit she told Mrs Andrews to call police and two officers were sent round to help.

The police drove to Mrs Andrews' son's house at the bottom of Albert Street - a five minute trip from Moncur Crescent - to collect another set of keys and they were soon able to let Mrs Andrews back into her home.

But her ordeal wasn't over. "One of the bobbies said to me that I would get a bill, which I knew, but I didn't think it would be that much. I didn't want to worry about it so I've already paid it at the post office."

The cost of Tayside police's assistance? £261.

Update 17 November: It seems, whoever reported this incident to the Courier, didn't know the full story. The Courier never checked the facts before publishing but have made an effort to do so now. You can read the true story here.


Mr. Mxyzptlk said...


was only Joking (EGGS)on AMW BLOG

Nephews got his posting to Afghanistan sis not happy(ex RAF) asked him to leave the forces.

MekQuarrie said...

As always I feel these sorts of stories must have hidden facts (but then I usually find out they don't and the world is indeed mad). Can't imagine that this is anything other than office-tied police having to account for each minute of their shift, not just by the clock, but now by the meter...

(Evil p.s.: Hopefully Dundee FC never lose the keys to Dens Park. They'd be bankrupt at these rates.)

Jess The Dog said...

The police may be acting illegally.

Did they provide any notice or estimate of what the cost would be when they were called out?

The lady should refuse to pay and see them in court.

subrosa said...

I don't blame her Niko, I think most mothers do the same.

Thanks for the :)

subrosa said...

Poor soul, if only she'd called a taxi instead of taking the nurse's advice. Would have been much cheaper for a taxi to have nipped down to her son's house.

subrosa said...

She's already paid the bill Jess. Put yourself in her position. Old, worried, nurse says phone police... Are you going to ask them for a quote?

It's certainly opened my eyes.

Montague Burton said...

I suspect that the flack this will create, will find the dear lady photographed in the Courier wearing a Bobby's hat as a smiley cop hands her a cheque for the amount spent and a cheque for a similar sum to the charity of her choice. If they've got any sense that is...

subrosa said...

I've never known Bell Street to have much sense Monty.

Mind you, my local police are a different story - or were 6 years ago.

Ninewells Hospital phoned at 1am one night to tell me my mother was dying (I knew this) and, because it had been snowing badly that night I phoned the local police to ask about state of the roads. During the conversation I mentioned I wasn't keen on driving a certain section which was well known for ice when the bobby said "Get yourself to x point and a 4x4 will be waiting for you'. This I did and one of the bobbies in the 4 x 4 drove me, in my own car, all the way to the Kingsway in Dundee.

I never received a bill but handed in some chocolates.

Life has surely changed in the last 6 years. I can no longer phone my local police as calls all go through a central office now.

Jess The Dog said...

This is a vulnerable elderly woman...would they have really left her on the streets in winter? Have they no shame? As it stands, the lady might end up unable to afford to heat her home this winter.

At least the Courier have picked the story up.

A bit of public pressure could shame Tayside Police into refunding the fee, or at least result in the inspector, sergeant and constable in the chain of command suffering an adverse annual report if named and shamed. Could screw over those further up the chain, the chief and assistant chief constables with their eyes on greater prizes than Dundee.

What would PC Murdoch say? How about that for a campaign title?!?

Jess The Dog said...

Tayside Police guidance on "bogus callers":

Looks like this lady was swindled.

subrosa said...

Aye Jess, we could start a campaign 'Where's PC Murdoch When You Need Him?'. I think a letter to the Courier is a good start.

Jeanne Tomlin said...

Sorry. Off topic (and I do feel sorry for the poor lady)

But I do like to remind people of what certain unionists prefer to be forgotten:

Scotland STILL has oil and gas

Ok. Sorry again. You can go back on topic now. ;-)

subrosa said...

Jeanne, you can't mention Scotland's oil and gas or even the electricity that we sell to the south.

The unionists with be having panic attacks and start throwing tantrums in the supermarket aisles.

Back on topic...

Stuart Winton said...

Mek said:

"As always I feel these sorts of stories must have hidden facts (but then I usually find out they don't and the world is indeed mad)."

Indeed, Mek, and while I thought perhaps that the police had just got their sums wrong and like Subrosa wondered why the lady just didn't phone for a taxi, it seems like the story was essentially born of a big misunderstanding, according to today's Courier.

In essence the article says it was the council who were phoned and public works informed them that because it was private property the police would be involved and there would be charge, and public works attended along with two police officers.

But by that time the son had found the spare keys.

The council billed police for £36.24 and this was forwarded to the lady and paid.

The £261 was for something different entirely and nothing to do with Tayside Police!!

subrosa said...

Thanks for the link Stuart. Goes to show someone at Meadowside was a little too enthusiastic to get their article in print without checking the facts.

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