Woman terrified by strange man while out walking slams police for ignoring her 999 call for help in Milton Keynes

A woman targeted by a suspicious man while out walking with her elderly mum has launched a complaint against police for failing to attend the scene.

Tuesday, 16th March 2021, 5:43 pm
Updated Wednesday, 17th March 2021, 11:26 am

The 51-year-old, who we will only refer to as Tracey for her own protection, was verbally abused and spat at by the mystery male as she walked along a Willen street on Sunday.

She had collected her mum, who lives in a care home, and was taking her out for a lunchtime walk to celebrate Mother's Day.

The man, who was no older than 20, was riding a bicycle and came perilously close to Tracey and her 80 year old mother on the pavement.

Police did not attend Tracey's cry for help

When Tracey commented, he stopped, stuck two fingers in the air - and then rode his bike straight at her.

"He swerved to hit me, I stepped sideways so as not to topple my mother over and he stopped his bike, shouted more abuse and spat at me," she said. "It was very strange and very frightening behaviour".

Worried that her mum, who relies on trolley to walk, could not get out of the way quickly, Tracey eased her closer to one of the large houses in Landsborough Gate, where she could see a resident working in his garages.

"I was hoping he'd help, but he didn't seem to notice," she said. "I got my phone out and dialled 999 for the police...The operator was fine, saying someone would be out soon, and keeping me on the line while I waited."

Continuing to talk to the operator, Tracey realised her mum was shivering with cold and fright and steered her to the main road to sit down on a bench. But suddenly the situation became even more terrifying.

"The man came back but this time, strangely, he had a different coat on. He rode past us very slowly, starting right at us, then suddenly he reached inside his coat with one hand as though he was going to pull something out.

"I was petrified he had a weapon. I really thought he was going to attack us.

"When he heard me shout 'the police are coming', he slowly road towards the direction we needed to get home. I was screaming at the call operator to send help and she said they were on their way."

"By this time my mum was shaking and distressed and very cold. But we were too scared to move because we thought he could be waiting for is round the corner."

Tracey said she continued to talk to the 999 operator for another 15 minutes.

"Then I asked where the police were and she said they weren't coming because no-one was available. She advised us to start walking home and stayed on the phone while we did so."

Anxious to avoid the direction the young man had travelled, Tracey took another route. But that involved crossing a very busy fast road.

"My mum was trying to go fast to avoid the cars but she couldn't and eventually, cars were forced to stop. We were lucky we weren't hit. It was horrible, and all the time I was wondering why the police hadn't turned up.

"I dialled 999 for help because we were two women who were terrified we were going to be attacked. And all I got a thirty minutes chat with a 999 operator.

"If the man had got a weapon inside his coat and decided to use it, we wouldn't have stood a chance."

Tracey and her mum both collapsed in tears once they were back safely at the care home, and her mammoth 999 call ended.

As soon as she'd calmed her um down, she dialled 101 to phone police and complain.

"A sergeant called me straight back and said he would investigate the non attendance as well as the offence. He said all his crew may have been on urgent calls so couldn't get there."

"Now, not only do I not feel safe on the street, but I don't have any faith that the police will do anything at all.

"If this is due to a lack of police then these stories need to be told. I want just this story published to shame the government about the lack of police available."

A police spokesman confirmed they received a call around 1.30pm on Sunday by a woman who reported she was being verbally abused by a man on a bike while out walking in MK.

He said: "A complaint has since been received in relation to police non-attendance at the scene and is currently being assessed. The victim is being kept up to date."

An appeal for witnesses is to be issued by police shortly about the incident.

Ironically, Tracey's complaint came Thames Valley Police announced they are developing 'Project Vigilant' forcewide to target predatory behaviour in general.

Project Vigilant was launched in Oxford at first to tackle a 12 per cent increase in non-domestic sexual offences taking place in the area.

The initiative uses a combination of uniformed and undercover officers to carry out patrols to identify people who may be displaying signs of predatory behaviour such as sexual harassment, inappropriate touching and loitering. Uniformed officers then intervene and take positive action to discourage this behaviour, which may include arrest.