Havering crime victim given “dressing down” by officer

A HIT-AND-RUN victim claims he was given a dressing down by a police inspector – for daring to question the competance of an officer whose mistake allowed the driver to escape.

John France’s blue Vauxhall Saphira was written-off after a speeding motorist, driving a silver Puma, smashed into him in Kinfauns Avenue, Hornchurch, last month.

As the driver made his escape Mr France – a retired Special Branch officer – flagged down a passing police van, which managed to stop the car.

But the driver was able to complete his bid for freedom when the officer forgot to remove the keys from the culprit’s ignition.

“I saw the police officer leave the motorist by his car and walk towards his police van,” said Mr France, a 64-year-old grandfather-of-three.

“At this, the young driver jumped into his car, reversed back from the parked police van, drove around it then disappeared at high speed up a side street never to be seen again.

“I asked the Pc if he were a probationer and told him that was the worst, most incompetent police work that I had ever seen. I said to the offending officer was ‘I hope you will learn by your mistake’.”

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An hour later Mr France, from Hornchurch, received a telephone call from the on-duty inspector, not to apologise for the error, but to reprimand the shaken man for being rude to an officer.

He said: “Since when do the police have a go at the victims of crime? I didn’t even raise my voice once to the officer, but he messed up and he knew it because he apologised to me at the time.”

He added: “This is not the type of service and senior officer attitude that the Metropolitan Police is famous for and can only bring the service into disrepute – especially in Havering.”

Mr France said he received an apology from a senior officer, after lodging a formal complaint.

A spokesman for Havering Police said: “We cannot comment at this time, but we are investigating the complaint.”