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Evacuation on Wednesday at Tesco and area on the Old Kent Road

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Wednesday 27 February 2008 9.19pm
Hi... Did anyone witness this event at all...? Were you evactuated? Apparently my car (old jeep cherokee) caused a 'major incident' and was at risk of being blown-up by police as it was positioned suspiciously... I had left it in the car park outside my house (2 miles away) safe and sound. (I have been away in Kent all day) I am now being told completely conflicting reports (when and if I get any info at all...) by the police and by Southwark council. It seems that the council decided to impound my car because it was not showing a valid tax disc. However the [b]DVLA have confirmed that I do have up-to-date tax and[/b] that although the disc displayed was out of date (I was unable to change it over since the car battery had died and the car-jacking system will therefore not give any access to the interior of the car) that this was not a valid reason to impound me as they legally should check the records (where they would see I am upto date)before they can take the vehicle. There is no offence in not displaying it - if you are not driving it or are you not parked on a public highway (which I wasn't as it was in a car park)... So, they had no right to move it anyway... But, how did it end up 'in a suspicious place' 'abandoned' and the immenent cause of a 'probable contained explosion' (police quote on my voicemail)... [/u]Where were the 'Council Pound' people when I received this message - left as though the police imagined I had abandoned it so... I would be SO GRATEFUL TO ANYONE WHO CAN PLEASE,PLEASE HELP ME WITH THIS... re: THE COUNCIL WHO STILL HAVE MY CAR ILLEGALLY IMPOUNDED, AND ALSO WHY THE POLICE HAVE repeatedly got facts wrong, contradicted themselves and TAKEN ALL DAY TO TRY AND FIGURE OUT WHAT IS/MAYBE GOING ON WITH ALL THIS... I am told something completely different everytime I speak to someone from the police... I still have no idea what actually happened! [u]surely the council should have made clear that the car was under their juristriction instead of causing a bomb scare and an entire supermarket evacuation...? (I have spoken to staff at Tescos who have confirmed that they had to close, but the last voicemail from the police backtracked directly from previous information and they now claimed nothing ever happened at tescos...) I am so confused! Can anyone enlighten me? Please...? Thank you so much for taking the time to read this and for anything you may be able to advise, in anticipation...Desperate - Bath Terrace, SE1
Wednesday 27 February 2008 9.45pm
A "police incident" in Dunton Road / Mandela Way was certainly being reported on LBC radio's travel news at lunchtime.

(The car pound is in Mandela Way)

I actually made a detour down there but there was no sign of anything going on when I got there.

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Wednesday 27 February 2008 9.52pm
Thank you so much for this 'snippet' - I had no idea at the time!! (I found out at 3pm!)... If you could tell me exactly what was said on the radio, I'd be most grateful... thanks for reading and responding so much! Zuzu
Wednesday 27 February 2008 10.00pm
They just said that Dunton Road was closed due to a "police incident".

I looked at the TfL online traffic news which I think said that Mandela Way was also sealed off.

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Thursday 28 February 2008 11.25pm
Pleas help me get this right. You left your car on the council estate where you live (there are rules about vehicles on estates displaying road tax)?
Council workers couldn't find current tax disc, (because it wasn't in the car) but failed to check with DVLA before moving it to the car pound in Mandela Way?
What happened next?
How did it become a suspicious vehicle?
Please excuse my curiosity.[url=][/url]
Friday 29 February 2008 5.28pm
Thanks Graham for your post.... I am beginning to learn more about what happened slowly...first point: tax disc was not displayed as I couldn't get into the car to display it -(flat battery and anti car javcking device) - (but I was fully paid up) - DVLA say this is fine as long as not using the car or keeping on public highway... But, the council say that as it is their land they have the right to make up their own rules (whatever they may be... maybe they will pick 'all purple cars' next week) so, they believe they had the right to tow. They did not check with DVLA as they say this irrelevant... They only told me this today. Apparently when they got it to the pound, they realised it was 'ticking' - it has NEVER done this before (so, what did they do to cause this???). So, for this reason they called the police. From here on it seems to be a massive police cock-up... Police contacted me at 1.08pm and left me a message saying it was "abandoned suspiciously AT the tescos and because of where it was positioned it was going to be blown up in a controlled explosion... please phone 999". I picked up this message at 2.40pm and was very concerned obviously (as also so old). I immediately phone 999 as told to and was told off for wasting police time and calling 999. They told me not to be silly - no one was going to blow up my car although they could find no record of this event or any person connected or with any knowledge of it (they say), I was then put through to a completely wrong extention where the PC told me to start again as i could not be put back to the operator. I tried 3 times (each time 45mins approx) over the space of 4 hours to get some info from the police and got similarly nowhere. I did not receive any further messages or even any confirmation that it was not blown up until 17.20 Weds. When I got to the pound yesterday I could see through the railings that it's window has been smashed and the bonnet craned open. (But it has not been blown up.) I still have not been given access to my car access as I am not allowed to see it until I take it - but I cannot drive it away with a smashed window/car full of glass/flat battery + goodness knows whatelse I'll find. So, why did they police say the car was positioned outside tescos??? (making me think it has been stolen and abandoned) and that it's position was suspicious?? Insisiting I come back immediately as if I was the 'terrorist' who had left it there...??! It was in the pound the whole time - so the council say. The council say the police were called because of the ticking and the police say because of the positioning... So, if the car was in the pound the whole time (as I believe it was) why did the police need to smash my window and crane the bonnet? If they thought there was a bomb in there - how does breaking into the drivers window help at all - it either needs to be blown or not. Eitherway, I am having to pay to have the car 'recovered' from the pound and to be taken to a garage and I will have to pay for all the damages done to it. I have not heard a single thing from the police since the 2nd message at 17.20 on Wednesday and I seem unable to contact ANYONE who knows about or will be talk about this event. I am still unsure about the sequence and reasons for these escalating events!!! I have received no apology (or any update or any information on the event) from the police. I find this shocking. I would love it if you know anything.. Were you there? Have you heard about it at all? Thank you for your time and for reading this... Zuzu
Monday 3 March 2008 1.54pm
Unfortunately I don't know anything about this incident, but it seems to me it's one of those great british bureaucratic cock ups where everyone gets it wrong. You should file a complaint to the met police and the council!
Wednesday 5 March 2008 11.17pm
Dear Liza, Thank you for your words of symapthy and the advice... Yes, I will chase for an apology and maybe for some compensation... but I don't think it should be this way around - that I am the one hunting THEM down for an apology...! How long would it take them to get in touch and explain what happened and why...? Bureacrats, jobsworths,'computer says no' and now the silent treatment.... AAARRRGGGHHHH!!!
Thursday 6 March 2008 10.55am
Good lord! It sounds to me like you need to make a list of all the people involved and write to each of them demanding an explanation in writing. Provide a time frame for them to respond in the letter. If and / or when they do not reply within that time frame (not that I'm cynical), you should think about going to a law centre / citizens advice bureau / solicitor. Any lawyer should be champing at the bit to unravel that mystery (and to obtain you appropriate compensation).

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