Northumbria Police Chief Constable, Genevieve Fitzroy, has reassured motorists in Berwick-upon-Tweed that they will not be prosecuted for knocking over pedestrians in the run-up to Christmas.
In a statement issued yesterday morning, Ms Fitzroy said:
“As a gesture of seasonal goodwill to all those who find themselves behind the wheel in the run-up to Christmas, I have instructed my officers to refrain from arresting any motorist who is forced to defend his or her road space against pedestrians who have no business being there.
While we will of course extend our sympathy to the friends and relatives of involved jaywalkers – deceased or otherwise – our first priority must be to uphold the motorist’s right to defend his paintwork.
I am particularly anxious to quell the confusion that has arisen from Northumberland County Council’s decision to reinstate parking along Marygate, which might have given pedestrians the notion that they can step out into traffic without looking, as usual, but now with the added frisson of doing so from between parked cars. This is not the case. Anyone found darting into the road and then reaching the other side via a half-hearted jog will be cautioned, fined and sent on a Green Cross Code refresher course.
It is only right and proper that I acknowledge when policing has fallen short of legitimate expectations and responsibilities. If not, we would neither justify the confidence all communities have in us today nor prove our genuine willingness to learn. By this token of commonsense policing, Northumbria Police wishes you all a very merry Christmas.”
The statement has been received with relief from motorists in towns around the country, towns whose high street, like Berwick, are engineered to create as many hazards for the driver as possible, thus giving the pedestrian ample opportunity to be killed in an achingly mundane manner.
Keen bonnet-crumpler Jono Jenkins, 17¼, from Duddo posted:
But not everyone is pleased with the decision. Clare Strong, who has spent the past 15 years running a lucrative business producing blame targeted at other people, has reacted strongly.
“This is just another move nearer to a police state. It’s a basic human right to be free to eat enough macaroni pies so your upper arms can clip wing mirrors as you walk down the street. My feet are on the pavement, so it’s a clear case of habeus corpus carpet diem squid pro quo. If any other part of my body decides to swing out over the road that’s not to say I’m asking for injury, and anyone who says I am should stop being so judgmental. I love myself and if I express that by shoulder-barging oncoming traffic, how is that anybody’s business? But if I do accidentally get injured, I have a right to be paid for it and paid well. I love my kids. Calypso facto.”
Extreme kerb-sport enthusiast, Zac Richardson, has his doubts that Northumbria Constabulary’s decision is in the best interests of pedestrians.
“While I can see there is some sort of logic behind this announcement – for instance, to encourage the free flow of road traffic along Marygate which has slowed to the extent that cars are being abandoned mid-journey in the style of a zombie apocalypse – I fear it will act as a deterrent to pedestrians who would like to explore the extent of their balance on one foot on an ice-splintered kerb stone while they simultaneously smoke, hold an animated conversation with an ugly friend, and spit into the road. And that, my friend, is an infringement not just of civil liberties but of creative expression.”
More disturbingly, whispers behind closed doors are intimating that Northumberland County Council is delighted at Ms Fitzroy’s decision. A source claims that the council may view the policy as a way of thinning out the sick, old and slow-moving, thus easing pressure on vital services throughout the county. This accusation has been refuted by a council spokesperson.
“To say that we deliberately wish to maim or even kill members of the public is frankly abhorrent – worse, it’s misleading. While we recognise that it is irritating for drivers when some dithering old fogey crosses in front of them with no warning other than a cheerily waved newspaper, this is not the same as encouraging vehicle-led social engineering. Think – that’s somebody’s granddad who, fingers crossed, could go on for another ten or fifteen years requiring a holiday every winter in a cosy NHS bed looking adorably vulnerable at enormous cost.”
Despite these protestations from the council, there is a growing number of frustrated motorists who believe Christmas has come early.
“Bring it on,” grinned Jonty Hardcastle, adjusting his open knuckle driving gloves. “What with unofficial crossing points, recklessly placed bollards, a funfair attraction at a junction, a higher-than-average number of Greggosaurus and a road so narrow you’d be lucky to get a greased fart down it, short-term parking is just what every motorist needs to ensure they get human flesh tangled in their alloys this Christmas. Thank you, Northumbria Police. Thank you.”