It is sad to read of the pathetic behaviour of the police in Ringwood, Dorset, but let me redress the balance somewhat.
Last October I was driving from Bangor, North Wales, to Leominster, Herefordshire, on my weekly Friday commute and had nearly made it being just past Ludlow on the A49. I was taking a gamble as my dynamo had packed up and I was hoping that a fully-charged battery would last the trip (it has before). However, at about 8 a.m.on a corner, up a hill, in the dark, with double white lines, the coil cut out although I still had a fair amount of headlamp left. I used my last bit of momentum to crashland half on/off the grass verge, and plodded half a mile back to a garage, mercifully still sort of open. I bought a doubtless useful spare battery I or so I convinced the wife later) and toiled back up to the car. The side lights were still a-glimmer, more or less. I had just removed the junk and the back seat to get at the flat battery when, and I must admit to my horror, in pulled a patrol car.
What would have happened in Ringwood ? The car is used hard, and looks it. I waited for the chop. Not a bit of it! The pair of coppers had a surreptitious peep at the Road Fund Licence (when they eventually found it on the near-side windscreen pillar), and then chatted happily On, holding my torch steady for me whilst I banged about changing over the batteries. They had left their car lights on full to warn approaching traffic, naturally. When all was finished they lingered long enough to be sure that the engine would fire and then went their way, quite probably chuckling.
If they read this letter, I hope they’ll accept my thanks and appreciation; if their colleagues in Ringwood dare read this month’s Motor Sport after last’s, I hope they will take heed and humbly learn a bit about common-sense public relations.
Leominster, Adrian Bell