Welcome to the Rudloe and environs website.

 

Here you will find news, articles and photos of an area that straddles the Cotswold Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in north-west Wiltshire.

 

Contributions in the form of articles or photos are welcome. Even those with completely contrary views to mine!

 

Thanks to the website builder 1&1 and Rob Brown for the original idea.

 

Rudloescene now, in January 2014, has a sister, academic rather than anarchic, website about Box history here: http://www.boxpeopleandplaces.co.uk/

It contains thoroughly professional, well-researched articles about Box and its people.

 

Contact rudloescene through the 'Contact' page.

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Covid interlude or, more appropriately perhaps, 'Monks Lane incident'. There are three further 'Walks in the Time of Covid' pages to be put online at the moment but this incident, on 26th April 2020, merits its own webpage. The email below, sent to Wiltshire Police following the incident describes what happened. As those of you who are able to get 'out and about' in these days of Covid will know, there are many people out walking or cycling especially on sunny days. Yesterday, 26th April, was no exception - in the lane between Neston and The Ridge/Monks Park (Brockleaze at the Neston end) there was not a single vehicle; quite a number of people were enjoying the quiet lane, including the family (father and two children) mentioned in the email. The title photo shows a straighter section of Monks Lane towards its southern end; the 'incident' happened at the blind bend close to the quarry - see the black marker on the map below.

Sirs,

I was in the process of registering a complaint about Wiltshire Police activity today, 26th April 2020, in Monks Lane, Corsham (SN13 9PH) when I realised the complaint form required me to specify my name (fair enough) and my date and place of birth along with my age. How do these these details have any relevance to the making of a complaint? It would appear that you would wish to investigate the complainant rather than look into the matter raised. We shall see, no doubt.

My son and I were walking/cycling in a northerly direction along Monks Lane today at 15:40. We were enjoying a quiet walk and cycle ride (me walking, he riding) when a police car appeared around a blind bend going like a 'bat out of hell'. Monks Lane is a single track road and an appropriate maximum speed, especially at the bend in question, adjacent to Monks Park Quarry, would be no more than 20mph. We estimated that the police car was doing about 50mph. Luckily, we were stationary at the time but just a minute or two before, a father and his two small children, all on bikes, were also enjoying this quiet country lane (the police car would have hit them head on).

What on earth could justify such outrageous behaviour? With driving like this, we can see how so many people are injured or killed in accidents involving police cars. I should say that four police vehicles were involved in this Monks Lane 'incident' today; the first car with the maniac behind the wheel had two police officers (including the driver) onboard; in the second car, we believe there were three officers and in the third, two more officers. The second and third cars were being driven more sensibly. The fourth vehicle, a 'Black Maria' had only one officer onboard.

Returning to the 'outrageous' or perhaps disgraceful behaviour and its justification, clearly this was not a medical emergency (no ambulances) or a fire (no fire engines) and I don't believe that Monks Lane is a hotbed of terrorism so what justification could there possibly be? (That was a rhetorical question - there is no justification, ever, for behaving in this way).

The registration number of the third police vehicle was KM69 XDC and the Black Maria was KS66 XUX. We have photographs and a map of the area should these be required.

The incident took place in Ms Donelan's constituency but I am a constituent of Mr Gray's, hence both have been copied.

Sincerely

Paul Turner

This is the third police car; the second and third cars had turned off here while the first one, driven by the maniac, continued along Monks Lane
The Black Maria which arrived later on the scene and was travelling in the opposite direction. Here it is turning from Monks Lane onto the Corsham-Melksham Road at the Seven Stars junction.

A response, from Wiltshire Police, to this complaint was received on 18th May 2020. The response may be found in this file:

2020 PRI Outcome Letter with signature-1[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [134.5 KB]

My (immediate) response, by email (which I also copied to the Chief Constable and the Commissioner), was as follows:

 

Dear S E Hedley,

Thanks for the letter regarding closure of my complaint.

Notwithstanding your comments regarding improvements required in relation to behaviour which may have fallen below expectations, aspects of your response and of Wiltshire Police's actions do not stand scrutiny.

According to the officer who called me on the matter, the team was responding to a reported burglary underway at the time and apparently near the very point where myself and my son were located (the officer in the lead car pointed to a side road, just by where we were standing, which the following two vehicles should take, while he sped on down Monks Lane). So we were close to the scene of the reported incident (and had been around this area for quite some time) but no one stopped to ask if we had seen anything. Also, if as indicated by the calling officer, the team was speeding to get to the scene of an ongoing crime, why were sirens being used during the journey? Surely you would want to catch the culprits red-handed?

With regard to your "it was not possible to identify the specific driver" ... if Wiltshire Police cannot identify officers within their own teams, what hope is there for policing in Wiltshire? This response would certainly not stand up in a court of law. If this small team was gathered in a room 'washing-up' this incident, the identity of the driver of the lead vehicle should already be known through the actions taken by the individual drivers/vehicles and the reports made. If there was any confusion on this (which there shouldn't be), the leader of this team would simply have to ask "Who was driving the lead vehicle?" And if no one in the team knew, particularly the driver himself, then God help us.

I despair, particularly as this supposed urgent incident was a false alarm. So all the time, effort and exposing the public to danger (from the police themselves) was for nothing.

Sincerely

Paul Turner

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