Friday, 26 November 2010

Who do you call? Police? Council?

I suppose that most of us periodically have the problem when there is some sort of problem that doesn’t warrant calling 999 but need some sort of fairly urgent action. In my case this week it was an unsecured empty building, and old taxi office and associated commercial garage.

This when open is a potential hazard to children during the day and with the way the town centre is at night, a potential hazard if a group of drunks get into to it and burn it down.

This garage has its doors right on the street in the town centre and I first noticed one of them was open on Monday, so I called the police.

I went through all of the rigmarole that one goes though today, if one telephones some large organisation, once upon a time this would have been the local police station, and the person you spoke to would have know the geography of the town.

Eventually I got there with woman on the switchboard on the other side of the county navigating a virtual map of Ramsgate, I got a reference number and a promise that officers would attend the building and sort out the problem.

Anyway I thought job done and hopefully both expense and anything nasty happening had been avoided, so I was quite surprised to go past it on Wednesday and see the garage door still wide open.

So I thought I would report it to the council this time, so I phoned them up and was told that it would be passed on to a team who would deal with the problem.

Anyway this evening I went past the building and it was still open, not good news.

I think that much of the problem here is that when you talk to the professionals in this sort of instance, they take it over as though that is what they are, professionals, give a confident answer as though they deal properly with this sort of minor problem regularly.

Anyway I phoned the police back with my reference number, and asked them why they hadn’t dealt with the problem, the reply was they had, officers had attended, forms had been filled it.

I asked the person I spoke to what the officers had actually done, the answer was that they had shut the door, not secured it but just shut it. In other words they left the thing in a condition that was dangerous and had the potential for crime to occur there.

So then I phoned the council on their out of hours service, the response I got was both helpful and apologetic and about half an hour later they phoned back to say that a team would go out and secure the building.

Now I suppose that securing a building must be something that both the police and that council have to regularly, rather in the way I sell books regularly.

Equate this situation to me posting you a book, in a commercial business if I behaved like this I would just go bankrupt.

A few pictures that were on the camera card here


  1. Maybe you should bother more about your shop than poke your nose into others unlocked premises!

  2. I think Michael was worrying about his own shop which ifI am not mistaken is very close to his shop and if someone set fire too it he would be involved.

  3. Too right Don, we have had one small fire in there already, it is almost as though the people who should be looking after us are hoping for some sort of incident.

    I generally don’t make much fuss about things that effect me as an individual on this blog, I tend more towards issues like Pleasurama or all the other empty sites that effect us all so much. I don’t think that many people would be interested in my own problems, but this one is indicative of many others and a sort of attitude that worries me.

    The council have secured the building now with two bent nails, something that I don’t think will last the week.

    I have to admit there is a temptation to take the law into my own hands and secure it properly.

    12.00 did you perhaps buy a book you didn’t like?

  4. Anon 12.00 is probably from Margate wher pyromania is a way of life.


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