A POLICE van mounted the pavement and crashed into a large potted plant - damaging the frontage of an antique shop in Worcester.

Dudley News:

Police say the van was responding to a concern for welfare call when it came off the road and hit the planter on Saturday, July 18.

But the owner of the Treasure Trove, on Barbourne Road, says he is furious with the way police have handled the incident.

Antique dealer, Lord René Cooke, 69, said: “The police lost control of their vehicle due to high speed and smashed into our showroom.

“This has caused extensive damage to our premises. The complete shop frontage has just gone through major refurbishment having complete new window frames, also new glass windows.

Dudley News:

“Outside our premises are very large planters, one of them was completely smashed, if it was not for the large pot the police vehicle would have gone through the glass window into the showroom where people were working fitting the new carpet to the window display areas.

“It does not bear thinking what could have happened. A life is far more important than chasing vehicles at tremendous speeds, having no thought for the public safety.” 

Lord Cooke has said he does not feel the police have taken his concerns seriously.

He added: “I phoned the police to tell them my concerns and to explain the damage to my property, only to be told there was minimal damage and to claim through our insurers. I am so appalled with the manner of the police and have now sent a letter of complaint to the chief inspector of West Mercia Police.

When asked about the crash, a spokesman from West Mercia Police said: “Officers were responding on blue lights to an emergency call regarding an immediate concern for welfare on the evening of Saturday 18 July.

“The police van, travelling in the rain, mounted the kerb and has collided with a large plant pot outside the Treasure Trove, which in turn caused some damage to the shop’s fascia.

“The officers in the van immediately apologised to the manager of the store and, as their Body Worn Video shows, they cleaned up the damage. They also made a call to the store owner to apologise and subsequently, so has a local sergeant.

“The cost of the damage will be managed via an insurance process.”