Vintage Postbag - John Gott's Force
Sir, Like many of your correspondents, my faith in the fairness of police and traffic patrol has steadily been eroded over the past year or so. Finally in February of this year, what little respect I had left disappeared altogether, after a blatantly 'trumped up' and vicious charge resulted in three endorsements appearing simultaneously on my licence, that had, up till then, being completely 'clean' since its acquisition, twelve years ago. It seems that yet another county constabulary is deliberately waging war on the motorist (you ought to see the multitude of hidden radar traps on Sundays, around Hertford!), using dubious methods to bring charges and secure convictions. (I understand that Kent actually advocates the use of motoring 'informers' now.)
However, I am delighted to report an incident which went some way to restoring my regard for police on patrol duties.
Just outside Silverstone on August 19th, I was overtaken and flagged down by a Northamptonshire police '1800'. The driver leaped out of his car and pointed to the near tyre of my 1952 Healey Abbott DHC, which appeared to have lost about half its air pressure. Since I had omitted to bring a spare wheel with me that day(!), the situation seemed a bit desperate, especially as the faulty tyre suddenly decided to eject the rest of its air and a great chunk of perished inner tube as well.
The police, however, couldn't have been more helpful. Although it was against regulations, they gave my wife, two children and myself a lift to Towcester Constabulary, where they telephoned the RAC, gave us cups of tea and generally helped my wife keep the two children amused. They then ran me back to my car to make sure bits weren't removed whilst it was in its sorry plight, and organised the replacement of the inner tube by telephone, with a garage some ten miles away. Everyone at the station was most helpful and friendly and it seems a pity that this should seem to be the exception, rather than the rule. But then, of course, it was John Gott's old force!
[Name and address supplied. - ED.]