The Larne Times recently reported an incident in which a man crashed his car onto the central island of a busy roundabout – and the police failed to attend.
“So what?” you may think. After all, no-one was injured; the only property damaged belonged to the driver of the car that crashed; and the vehicle wasn’t a hazard to other road users.
Except… the driver of the car was 90 years old.
Needless to say, there was something of a hoo-hah when news got around that the police had apparently ignored the plight of the old man. So much so that the Acting Area Commander felt obliged to look into the case personally, at which point he discovered that police officers had in fact attended the scene – only to find that the man had locked his car and gone off. They eventually tracked him down about an hour-and-a-half later.
OK, so you can understand why members of the public should be outraged at the apparently callous disregard for this senior citizen. But on the other hand, how many of the same members of the public would be willing to pay the extra taxes needed to pay for the police to attend incidents like this?
It seems there are times the emergency services just can’t win.