Resident to get answers at last

Oxford Mail: Michael Makepeace Michael Makepeace

Kidlington resident Michael Makepeace grew so “sick and tired” of police cars parking outside his home he fired off a series of questions to officials.

But his efforts to find out more about who was leaving their cars outside his Oxford Road home were labelled “vexatious” by police.

Now, after twice being refused the information, Mr Makepeace has finally won his year-long battle for the details.

Mr Makepeace says police staff and visitors have been using the service road outside his home – near the force’s headquarters – as a “long-term car park”.

The final straw came when a driver, who Mr Makepeace claims was visiting Thames Valley Police headquarters in Oxford Road, blocked the access to his drive.

He requested information about the incident from police, using the Freedom of Information (FoI) Act, so that he could build evidence to lodge a complaint.

But police deemed his request “vexatious” – purely to cause annoyance – and turned him down.

Mr Makepeace denied this and took the case to the Information Commissioner. When it was turned down again, he appealed to the Information Rights Tribunal.

Now, a year after the original incident, the tribunal has found in Mr Makepeace’s favour and he has won the right to see details.

Mr Makepeace said: “We have had a long-standing problem with police parking on the service roads.

“It obstructs the views of the road and makes it extremely difficult for people to get out of their driveways. It’s dangerous.

“Police have got nearly 400 parking spaces on their site but they do not seem to be able to manage it. They were using our service road as a long-term car park.”

Mr Makepeace said he had tried to lodge a complaint with the police car park manager after his driveway was obstructed by an unmarked car he believes was connected to the police. After being turned down, but using the car’s registration number, he requested the name of the driver, the name of the car park manager and the station’s logbook.

Mr Makepeace, who has taken a series of photos showing marked police cars parked in the road, said: “People have to sign in and that would prove that it was a Thames Valley Police officer that parked outside my house.

“I wanted to get information to make a formal complaint. Without it, I have got no proof. It was a single request and it was not persistent. It was not vexatious.

“I am just disappointed in the state of management up there. They seem to think they are special, rather than public servants.”

Police spokesman Leo Tarring said: “We respect the decision of the Information Rights Tribunal and are currently in the process of providing a response to the original request. It would be inappropriate to comment further.”

Thames Valley Police classed 10 FoI requests as vexatious in 2010, and 23 in 2011 – information gleaned after an FoI request.

Comments (15)

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11:22am Mon 23 Apr 12

Dilligaf2010 says...

With police vehicles parked along the road, I bet the crime figures are zero, I'd ask them to continue, but with a little more consideration to residents :)
With police vehicles parked along the road, I bet the crime figures are zero, I'd ask them to continue, but with a little more consideration to residents :) Dilligaf2010

1:08pm Mon 23 Apr 12

Whitto says...

Couldn't he have just asked Dempsey?
Couldn't he have just asked Dempsey? Whitto

1:16pm Mon 23 Apr 12

GTS kiddy says...

They are not 'police cars' as such, they are cars belonging to the people who work at the police headquaters. It is a pain trying to drive down there as there are so many cars parked and it is a very busy road with people trying to get to the school, doctors and sports centre, they really should do something about the parking along there!!
They are not 'police cars' as such, they are cars belonging to the people who work at the police headquaters. It is a pain trying to drive down there as there are so many cars parked and it is a very busy road with people trying to get to the school, doctors and sports centre, they really should do something about the parking along there!! GTS kiddy

2:39pm Mon 23 Apr 12

Dilligaf2010 says...

Looks a little like Edward Woodward ;)
Looks a little like Edward Woodward ;) Dilligaf2010

4:02pm Mon 23 Apr 12

JanetJ says...

Are there any real "Police" at the HQ. Or do these private cars all belong to staff who work for the Police.
Are there any real "Police" at the HQ. Or do these private cars all belong to staff who work for the Police. JanetJ

4:55pm Mon 23 Apr 12

L0RD PETER MCVEY 0X2 6EG says...

Plod have done themselves no favours here. Whilst protecting their own they alienate those that they expect to help them. Well I would think Mr Makepeace is as likely to help them in the future as I am. P.S. I wonder how much plods attempt to cover up the evidence of who was parking there cost us in all these requests.
Plod have done themselves no favours here. Whilst protecting their own they alienate those that they expect to help them. Well I would think Mr Makepeace is as likely to help them in the future as I am. P.S. I wonder how much plods attempt to cover up the evidence of who was parking there cost us in all these requests. L0RD PETER MCVEY 0X2 6EG

7:02pm Mon 23 Apr 12

jacoxford says...

A lot of the cars are people park and riding. I watch them every day parking and getting on the bus to Oxford.
A lot of the cars are people park and riding. I watch them every day parking and getting on the bus to Oxford. jacoxford

8:16pm Mon 23 Apr 12

L0RD PETER MCVEY 0X2 6EG says...

jacoxford wrote:
A lot of the cars are people park and riding. I watch them every day parking and getting on the bus to Oxford.
Do you really Jac from Oxford. I don't believe you. Or are you Jac from Kidlington?
[quote][p][bold]jacoxford[/bold] wrote: A lot of the cars are people park and riding. I watch them every day parking and getting on the bus to Oxford.[/p][/quote]Do you really Jac from Oxford. I don't believe you. Or are you Jac from Kidlington? L0RD PETER MCVEY 0X2 6EG

9:33pm Mon 23 Apr 12

King Joke says...

Either these cars are legally parked or they aren't. If residents really object to employees or unofficial park & ride parking in their road then they need a CPZ.
Either these cars are legally parked or they aren't. If residents really object to employees or unofficial park & ride parking in their road then they need a CPZ. King Joke

6:45am Tue 24 Apr 12

simplicissimus says...

Exactly the same disingenuous, perverse, antisocial arrogance and patronizing contempt for the public who pay them is found in other overpaid employees - often senior managers - in the public sector. Senior managers in our local authorities are mostly significantly overpaid and overpensioned and hide behind underlings when asked to be accountable.

Some constitute a cancer that urgently needs excising. Sack dodgy and obstructive jobsworths. Start at the top. Only then can any adequate service resume.
Exactly the same disingenuous, perverse, antisocial arrogance and patronizing contempt for the public who pay them is found in other overpaid employees - often senior managers - in the public sector. Senior managers in our local authorities are mostly significantly overpaid and overpensioned and hide behind underlings when asked to be accountable. Some constitute a cancer that urgently needs excising. Sack dodgy and obstructive jobsworths. Start at the top. Only then can any adequate service resume. simplicissimus

8:39am Tue 24 Apr 12

King Joke says...

simplicissimus wrote:
Exactly the same disingenuous, perverse, antisocial arrogance and patronizing contempt for the public who pay them is found in other overpaid employees - often senior managers - in the public sector. Senior managers in our local authorities are mostly significantly overpaid and overpensioned and hide behind underlings when asked to be accountable. Some constitute a cancer that urgently needs excising. Sack dodgy and obstructive jobsworths. Start at the top. Only then can any adequate service resume.
Simplicissimus, I can see how parking round the corner from work might be antisocial, but really is it the fault of overpaid jobsworths? Isn't it just the fault of, erm, the people who are parking round the corner from work?
[quote][p][bold]simplicissimus[/bold] wrote: Exactly the same disingenuous, perverse, antisocial arrogance and patronizing contempt for the public who pay them is found in other overpaid employees - often senior managers - in the public sector. Senior managers in our local authorities are mostly significantly overpaid and overpensioned and hide behind underlings when asked to be accountable. Some constitute a cancer that urgently needs excising. Sack dodgy and obstructive jobsworths. Start at the top. Only then can any adequate service resume.[/p][/quote]Simplicissimus, I can see how parking round the corner from work might be antisocial, but really is it the fault of overpaid jobsworths? Isn't it just the fault of, erm, the people who are parking round the corner from work? King Joke

9:28am Tue 24 Apr 12

John Lamb says...

Plod just need to treat their neighbours better. What's wrong with police visitors parking in the Thames Valley headquarters car park, two minutes away? Or would that mean pounding the beat for some? The police van that is parked on the double yellows most days at the Oxford railway station annoys me.
Plod just need to treat their neighbours better. What's wrong with police visitors parking in the Thames Valley headquarters car park, two minutes away? Or would that mean pounding the beat for some? The police van that is parked on the double yellows most days at the Oxford railway station annoys me. John Lamb

6:58pm Tue 24 Apr 12

L0RD PETER MCVEY 0X2 6EG says...

John Lamb wrote:
Plod just need to treat their neighbours better. What's wrong with police visitors parking in the Thames Valley headquarters car park, two minutes away? Or would that mean pounding the beat for some? The police van that is parked on the double yellows most days at the Oxford railway station annoys me.
The plod car is on private land. FGW so it can do as it likes.
[quote][p][bold]John Lamb[/bold] wrote: Plod just need to treat their neighbours better. What's wrong with police visitors parking in the Thames Valley headquarters car park, two minutes away? Or would that mean pounding the beat for some? The police van that is parked on the double yellows most days at the Oxford railway station annoys me.[/p][/quote]The plod car is on private land. FGW so it can do as it likes. L0RD PETER MCVEY 0X2 6EG

7:19pm Tue 24 Apr 12

jacoxford says...

L0RD PETER MCVEY 0X2 6EG wrote:
jacoxford wrote:
A lot of the cars are people park and riding. I watch them every day parking and getting on the bus to Oxford.
Do you really Jac from Oxford. I don't believe you. Or are you Jac from Kidlington?
I really don't care whether you believe me or not. It happens. Just for the record, I was jac from Oxford when I registered with OM. I now live in Kidlington.
[quote][p][bold]L0RD PETER MCVEY 0X2 6EG[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]jacoxford[/bold] wrote: A lot of the cars are people park and riding. I watch them every day parking and getting on the bus to Oxford.[/p][/quote]Do you really Jac from Oxford. I don't believe you. Or are you Jac from Kidlington?[/p][/quote]I really don't care whether you believe me or not. It happens. Just for the record, I was jac from Oxford when I registered with OM. I now live in Kidlington. jacoxford

9:08pm Wed 25 Apr 12

John Lamb says...

L0RD PETER MCVEY 0X2 6EG wrote:
John Lamb wrote:
Plod just need to treat their neighbours better. What's wrong with police visitors parking in the Thames Valley headquarters car park, two minutes away? Or would that mean pounding the beat for some? The police van that is parked on the double yellows most days at the Oxford railway station annoys me.
The plod car is on private land. FGW so it can do as it likes.
Parking all day on double yellow lines isn't exactly role model behaviour though is it Pierre? And blocking a legitimate enquiry from the public just adds to the public's perception of the police covering their tracks and each other's backs.
[quote][p][bold]L0RD PETER MCVEY 0X2 6EG[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]John Lamb[/bold] wrote: Plod just need to treat their neighbours better. What's wrong with police visitors parking in the Thames Valley headquarters car park, two minutes away? Or would that mean pounding the beat for some? The police van that is parked on the double yellows most days at the Oxford railway station annoys me.[/p][/quote]The plod car is on private land. FGW so it can do as it likes.[/p][/quote]Parking all day on double yellow lines isn't exactly role model behaviour though is it Pierre? And blocking a legitimate enquiry from the public just adds to the public's perception of the police covering their tracks and each other's backs. John Lamb

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