Complete lack of common sense
Thursday, 03 July 2008 11:29

July 2, 2008 the Manchester Evening News reported that a man who is the full-time carer for his wife and who himslef has a heart condition was held by Greater Manchester police for more than 18 hours following an incident that involved no more than a dropped apple core.

When approached by a community support officer the man denied having dropped the apple core, but the community support officer called for re-inforcements. Three policement arrived. It was alleged but not proved that the man refused to pay an on-the-spot fine or give his name.

The man was arrested and taken into police custody where his DNA profile and fingerprints were taken. The man says he gave police full identification but they did not check it.

He was kept overnight in the cells to appear before mogistrates in the morning. It took police a full 10 hours to notify the man's wife who had been left uncared for during that time.

Superintendant Kevin Mulligan of Greater Manchester Police said 'This case should never have been dealt with in this way, but we were left with no choice because the man was wholly obstructive towards police'.

The Crown Prosecution Service said that as the man had been held for 19 hours that it was not in the public interest to press on with a trial.

It was estimated that the cost of this fiasco to the taxpayer was around ₤5000.

What this tells us

Common sense, something that Gordon Brown said he wanted to see more use made of, has completely gone from the police and some people.

If this man did drop the apple core then he would have been sensible to pick it up and dispose of it correctly. The community support office's action was, to put it politely, 'an error of judgement'. Give some people a uniform, the authority to give out tickets and this is what you get.


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