The Nation's Health + [Policing]

No More, No Less

"RTC, car vs car. Injuries unknown. Police on scene."

We happened to be on the road the RTC was on when we got dispatched to it. It was about two miles away but due to the nature of the relatively narrow and winding road, any RTC always caused absolute chaos in the area. The traffic was already building up, even where we were so it took a little while for us to get there. For every five cars that move out your way, there is one that just sits there and doesn't move. It's most frustrating! Ahead, we could see the blue lights of a police car and after a final push we were there.

As far as RTC's go, this was a minor one. Three car were involved all with relatively minor amounts of damage. There were five patients, all with pretty minor ailments, but all needed assessing and treating. Injuries ranged from minor head injuries to mild chest pain. Once we had parked our 3.5 tonne vehicle traffic was now well and truly blocked in both directions, but whilst the two of us were working our way between the three cars, that was what was happening. The two cops were having to take statements, try and clear the road, act as mediator between the feuding parties as well as making sure everyone was safe until we had arrived. I didn't envy them one bit!

Sat in the traffic, near the front was a brand new white Audi. A guy, mid 20s leaned his head out the window and spoke at one of the coppers.

"Oi, how about you clear the road."

"How about you don't refer to me as 'Oi' for starters."

"How about you just do your job."

"Can you provide me with more officers to assist us, because that is what we need?"

"Ain't my job, I pay my taxes, how about you clear the road like you're paid to do, fucking idiot."

"We can only do so much. There are only two of us. We would love more officers to help but there aren't any. You'll just have to be patient."

"Just move the fucking cars so we can get on our way. It's your job, it's not rocket science. Are you all as incompetent as each other?"

"Stop swearing at me."

"Or what, what you going to do. How about instead of wasting time whining about swearing you do your job and clear the road."

At this point the copper walked away and continued doing the huge list of things that needed doing. I just stood there open mouthed. Had that really happened?! Some people are so unbelievably selfish! And arrogant. And in this case, just a total arse!

"Oi, move your ambulance so we can get past."

Oh, he's talking to me now! I felt that warm feeling inside, one full of joy and excitement! I composed myself for a moment and walked over to his open window.

"You are a rude, nasty, LITTLE man. You will wait like everyone else is waiting. There is nothing you can say, or do to make me move my ambulance any faster. All that you stand to achieve with this attitude is ensuring you wait longer."

With that I begun walking away!

"Go fuck yourself."

"Very intelligent response. Well done." I said with a smile.

"Fuck off."

Clearly, I don't have the same levels of self restraint that coppers do. I am often found guilty of taking the bait but someone needed to tell him he was being an arse! The police face this abuse on a daily basis and most people get away with it, because there simply aren't enough officers to arrest and process these morons.

I asked the police officers on twitter how many units / officers would be needed in an ideal world to deal with a 3 car RTC with 5 patients on a busy road. These were some of the responses:


"I'd like 6. However I think that 4 is probably all I'd get. And that's on a good day."

"Ideal world an officer per car, 2 for the road block and 2 for the witnesses so 7. That would almost be my whole team!"

"6 in an ideal world, but you should be so lucky! 4 would be safe and manageable"

"Ideally 6, but safe with 4. No less than that."

"4-6 for scene management, arranging recovery, taking witness statements etc"

"Depending on the road 6-8 ideally, not less than 4, too much to do."

"Probably 6 I reckon but that would be most of my team!"

So, I think it's fair to say that the one police car with two officers was not enough to safely deal with the scene. Unfortunately, there was no one spare to send. In previous blogs Please Sir, can I have some more? and A Special Relationship I highlighted what effect the cut of 16,000 front line officers was having. Those two posts highlighted extreme cases which is easy to get outraged about but RTC's like this are part and parcel of every day policing and there simply are not enough to spread around. What you're left with is two officers trying to mange 3 angry families, a blocked road, the irate public, 5 patients, 3 drivers to process and breathalise, vehicles to help arrange recovery for and an ambulance crew to ensure are kept safe! It simply doesn't add up does it?!

As a bonus, as the road was being cleared the chippy chav opened his abusive mouth one to many times! The cop went over to the car and asked him politely to get out the car. The driver don't take kindly to this and his threatening manor and verbal threats landed him in handcuffs. To top it off, due to a faint smell of alcohol he too was breathalised. In what was a beautifully poetic moment, he blew over the limit and was promptly arrested for drink driving. One more scum bag off the road! If only he'd kept his mouth shut!

Despite the pressures, everything got done. The abusive moron was ignored, then arrested! The road got cleared, the patients got treated and discharged and after a good hour or so all that was left was the two cops with an absolute mountain of paper work, an ambulance crew and a clear road. The upshot is though, the public are left blaming the police for not doing enough to ensure their smooth journey! It's not the cars crashing, it's the police not working fast enough to clear the road. That moron happened to voice it but you can be sure others with thinking it. The emergency services shouldn't be left in a situation to just cope and muddle through. These ill conceived cuts to front line services have a huge effect on day to day services and there simply are not enough left to keep the public safe. Then again, lets not forget police should "Cut crime, no more, no less". These non-police matters will sort themselves out, eh Terese May....