November 1st, 2006

We’re all By-passers

Posted in The Job - Comment by 200

With regards to my earlier comments on people not wanting to get involved, you know, it’s not just in situations which some perceive it may be ‘risky’. People won’t get involved when there is little chance of any problems occuring.

I was in the CCTV control centre recently. Using the excuse of picking up some more CCTV footage for other cases going nowhere, I stopped for a cuppa.

Whilst putting society to rights the CCTV operator picked up a guy lying flat out on his back across the whole width of the footpath in the town centre.

I passed it through to our control via my radio & they arranged an ambulance. We watched on the screens for 7 or 8 minutes until the ambo arrived. In all that time not one single person stopped to see if the guy was OK or even still alive. They walked round him, some ignoring him totally, others staring as they passed. Some even stopped further up the road & watched him. Eventually paramedics roused him, he was worse the wear for drink but was taken in for a checkup none-the-less. He could have been dying, nobody cared enough to see.

Then the CCTV operator was called by police control reporting a missing 3 year old kiddie in the town centre who had wandered off from mum in a busy department store.

Within a couple of minutes CCTV picked up the child crawling across the footpath about 50 yards down from the shop in which his frantic mother was being calmed by store security staff.

Police control, who were also watching the CCTV directed an officer to go straight to the kid, which was just as well because not one person stopped. It was fairly obvious the child was on their own as it wandered along the path, sometimes walking, sometimes crawling & chasing the pigeons. Yet nobody went to the child to see where its mother or father was. As far as I could tell nobody even called in to report a 3yr old wandering through the town.

It just goes against the grain of everything I have devoted my entire adult life as a police officer towards. I can’t believe so many people decline to offer help where help is so obviously required.

I guess people just like to think about number one & put stuff like this in the ‘not my problem’ category. They say what goes around comes around. I think there may be quite a few people who will need assistance in the future and all they’ll get is blank looks and passers-by.


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