Man dragged to his feet by police after fall in St Albans
PUBLISHED: 09:55 03 May 2012
A FORMER nurse has blasted the police for their lack of compassion after an elderly man fell in the road and they forced him to stand, despite concerns he had seriously injured himself.
The 84 year old had been trying to return his recently deceased wife’s pension book to Beauver House last Wednesday afternoon when his walking frame got stuck in a hole in the road as he crossed Bricket Road from Civic Close.
The retired nurse rushed to his aid, fearing he may have broken a hip or that he would suffer a heart attack because of the shock but says she was sickened by the callous actions of those who should have been helping him
The 64-year-old woman, who still works as a peer support worker in the city centre, claims two officers hauled the pensioner up and out of the road with little regard for any injuries he might have.
She said: “Everyone knows you don’t move someone until you’re quite certain that it’s safe to do so and in this man’s case, it was not clear how injured he was. The police swept up in a very dramatic fashion and started addressing him as ‘mate’ – not at all with respect.
“They then dragged him up and got him to stand on the pavement, saying he couldn’t stay in the road, but the paramedics were literally pulling up as they did this. It would not have hurt anyone to wait and be sure he was settled.
“The poor man was so embarrassed and he didn’t make a sound, but it was clearly the wrong thing to do. A member of staff from the medical centre even told them they shouldn’t have moved him. The police didn’t care about him at all, so long as everyone could get by in their cars.”
The woman alleges the police were called by a member of staff at St Albans Crown Court who had come onto the scene to tell her the injured man had to be moved and quickly. She said: “I park along here all the time and I am certain he came out of there, shouting and telling us to move. The next thing we know, there’s a police car here. Talk about over-reacting. The ambulance wasn’t far behind.
“There’s just no heart. Nobody cares. That man was blocking a road and might have prevented people from parking just that little bit closer to the shops, so people felt he had to be moved. Why did the police need to be called? It sickens me, it really does.”
But a spokesperson for the Crown Court said its staff were not aware of the incident and had not been involved anyway.
The pensioner was assessed by paramedics at the scene and while he wasn’t deemed to be injured, the woman who had sat with him in the pouring rain claims her greatest concern was the impact it would have on his mind.
She added: “The elderly are treated like second-class citizens and never was it more evident than last Wednesday.”
She has vowed to take the matter to the highest level, but says her first concern is for the man whom she has been keeping tabs on since the fall.
A spokesman for Herts Police said: “The safety of members of the public is paramount and we take complaints about the conduct of officers very seriously.
“We are aware of the incident but we have not received any complaints from either the injured party or any other members of the public.”
A spokesperson for the East of England Ambulance Service said the man was assessed at the scene but was not injured. She said that the service usually advised members of the public not to move a person when they have fallen but in this case, those attending were police officers who had experience dealing with incidents. She added that because the man was in the road, the risks of not moving him also had to be assessed.