DRIVER Gary Badnell is furious after police refused to investigate a hit-and-run accident that left his car a write-off.
The 33-year-old was forced do his own detective work and managed to locate four CCTV cameras before giving officers an exact time of when the incident happened outside his home.
But he has now slammed police and feels ‘completely let down’.
Gary and his partner, Holly Arthur, 31, were woken at 11.32pm when a car struck his parked Vauxhall Astra estate, but didn’t realise what the noise was.
He went down the following morning and discovered he had fallen victim to a hit-and-run incident outside his house in Chatsworth Avenue, Cosham, causing almost £1,000 worth of damage to the black 55-plate vehicle.
Holly, a sales and support team member for a hair straightening company, phoned police who told her to locate CCTV footage and give them an exact time and they will ‘send someone down’ to investigate. The pair, who have a two-year-old daughter called Kennedi, then went on a mission to find footage of the incident, which happened on March 29.
They managed to find four CCTV cameras from various businesses and properties close to where the incident took place.
But Hampshire police then changed their mind and said it would not investigate because ‘no one had been injured or killed’.
Kitchen fitter Gary said: ‘We had collected CCTV footage from a man who lives down our road.
‘My friend is a mechanic and he found the incident had snapped the steering rack and the tracking rods and damaged the suspension.
‘It broke the wing mirror and damaged the exterior bodywork – the damage was valued in excess of £900.
‘The insurance company have now written off the car after I paid £4,000 for it two years ago but they said they would only pay out £1,200.’
He added: ‘My partner phoned the police after finding a CCTV camera belonging to the shop at the end of our road.
‘She then phoned the police and a woman on the phone said “yes, we’ll send someone down”.
‘We thought officers would come down but we didn’t hear anything for two days.
‘Holly then phoned them again and a different woman said “I don’t know why the lady or officer said we’d look because we’d only go down if someone had been injured or killed”.
‘She then added “maybe the woman was having an off day”.’
Gary added: ‘This aggravated me even more because a serious crime had been committed and it seemed like the police were treating it as a joke.
‘We found a total of four CCTV cameras – one at the shop, one on a man’s house, one at a petrol station and one at the train station.
‘We did everything the police asked us to do but I wanted them to do their bit, too.
‘I couldn’t do all of the investigating.
‘But they wouldn’t investigate as no one had been injured or killed, and they classed this as a petty crime.
‘It absolutely infuriated me, we pay our taxes and for what? We don’t get anything in return.
‘Perhaps police officers are more happy to sit in a lay-by with a speed camera.
‘I’m a kitchen fitter, and I don’t install the units and then get someone else to fit the tops – I do the whole job. And that’s what the police should be doing.
‘We should not have to do the police’s job for them.
‘They asked us to get CCTV footage and give them an exact time, which we did, but they still won’t investigate.
‘I feel completely let down by the police force. The message they’re sending out is one which says “it’s okay to commit a crime and you will get away with it”.’
A Hampshire Constabulary spokeswoman said the force has a limited number of resources and has to prioritise certain crimes.
She said: ‘Police will always apply a proportionality test to whatever they are dealing with. We have a limited number of resources which we have to ensure we use in the best possible way and carefully deploy.
‘We will also look at other factors including the likely amount of work it will take to generate viable leads weighed against the loss incurred, and any ongoing risk to any individual.
‘This is not new, police have always worked with the community in this way.
‘It is perhaps more keenly felt in these times when we are having to be more careful than ever in how we deploy our resources.
‘It was reviewed by our collision assessment team.
‘A decision was made that as this was a minor damage, no-injury road traffic incident reported some time after the fact, no further action will be taken as there is a very low likelihood of sufficient evidence being available to secure a successful prosecution.’
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