A police officer has been arrested and charged with the offence of ‘impersonating a traffic warden’ which carries a fixed penalty of 60 days’ imprisonment (reduced to 30 days if commenced within 14 days).
The dramatic arrest was conducted by Civil Enforcement Officer Eric Hodges, who takes up the story. ‘I was proceeding on my way back to the precinct shopping car park, where I had reason to believe that a maroon Ford Focus estate might just be about to be a minute overdue, when I observed the miscreant sauntering along the pavement, in a uniform very similar to mine, like he owned the place. Immediately my extensive training kicked in and I hid behind a nearby old lady.’
‘I watched the swine as, bold as brass, he went up to the very same Focus that I had my eye on, and looked all around it. He then started writing notes on a notepad. He even spoke into a walkie talkie just like the pretend one I carry. It was then that I knew I had to act decisively.’
‘It wasn’t an easy operation,’ he recalled with a haunted expression in his eyes, ‘because as soon as I announced that I was making a citizen’s arrest for preventing an enforcement officer from conducting his rightful duties, he made a strange gurgling sound and collapsed onto the tarmac shaking. I assumed that he was having a fit, but the doctor later assured me that it was laughter, presumably bought on by the shock of being caught in the act.’
Hodges was been hailed a hero for his valiant action and has received a message of support from the people of Wootton Bassett for his bravery. His boss, Inspector Nigel Parker, said, ‘Eric’s quick witted action was over and above the call of duty. This selfless act saved the corporation a parking penalty worth £30, revenue we can ill afford to lose in these times.’
He added, ‘These non-plastic, or should I say biodegradable, police officers have no experience of the street and should stick to what they know, namely staying in the office filling in forms. They should leave the streets to the streetwise.’