Don’t blame po­lice for the chaos

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - COUNTRYFILE -

A FOR­MER po­lice of­fi­cer in­volved in the first ever use of Op­er­a­tion Stack has de­fended the po­lice op­er­a­tion. John May said that while he has “com­plete sym­pa­thy” with mo­torists who face lengthy de­lays ev­ery time Stack is im­ple­mented, they should look to where the re­spon­si­bil­ity lay and not be tempted to blame the po­lice. Mr May said: “As a serv­ing of­fi­cer in 1985, I was heav­ily in­volved with the polic­ing of a trans­port strike which re­sulted in al­most 2,000 lor­ries, with driv­ers of nu­mer­ous na­tion­al­i­ties, be­ing stuck on the M20, un­able to pro­ceed to the Con­ti­nent by ferry be­cause of in­dus­trial ac­tion. “At that time the Chan­nel Tun­nel did not ex­ist. We parked the lor­ries nose to tail on the M20 west of Folkestone be­cause a very quick de­ci­sion had to be made – and frankly there was nowhere else. “The strike went on for over a week and in­volved a large num­ber of po­lice of­fi­cers who took over the KCC de­pot at Stan­ford near Junc­tion 11 of the M20 as a base.” Now more than two decades later the county is still fac­ing the same prob­lems, with many more ve­hi­cles. Mr May said: “Twenty-one years have elapsed, but lit­tle has been done to pro­vide al­ter­na­tive park­ing. But Kent Po­lice do not have the author­ity to pro­vide land for a suit­able lorry park. The only peo­ple who can get things mov­ing are the Mem­bers of Par­lia­ment, who up till now have proved to­tally use­less.”

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