Landlord condemns DIY policing

PUBLISHED: 06:05 11 February 2009 | UPDATED: 23:00 15 June 2010

A PUB landlord was forced to become a DIY law enforcer when a regular became violent. A lone PC told Eric Boot, of The Famous George, in Seaton, to hang on to abusive Richard Warrick while he waited for reinforcements to arrive.

A PUB landlord was forced to become a DIY law enforcer when a regular became violent.A lone PC told Eric Boot, of The Famous George, in Seaton, to hang on to abusive Richard Warrick - while he waited for reinforcements to arrive.And, in a bizarre twist, the defendant's mother later came into the pub with a letter of apology on behalf of her son.Mr Boot claims he held Warrick down with two other locals until other officers arrived at the scene in The Square, on January 29, at around 8.30pm.Mr Boot said: "It makes you wonder. There were three of us holding him and the police officer asked us to keep him down."It didn't work out too badly but, if I'd been on my own, it would have been a different story."In the clear light of day, we shouldn't have done that. It's not my job, but he was swinging out and would have got away."He said, while back-up did arrive within minutes, he had been frustrated by two phone calls to the police non-emergency line.He said: "The woman was asking us to describe the colour of his eyes, what he was wearing, and so on. We had to ring back and then she asked us to shut the man up because he was making noise in the background."Mr Boot says he will be dialling 999 in future - but found it ridiculous that there was a police station only two minutes away, yet help was difficult to find.Warrick, 33, of Elmfield Road, was fined £100 at Central Devon Magistrates' Court in Exeter for the public order offence but, because he was on license from prison, he was subsequently sent back to prison on February 3.The former logistics manger with the United Nations in former Yugoslavia had previously been jailed for supplying heroin to undercover police officers in August of last year. Warrick said he had turned to drugs after seeing the horrors in the former Yugoslavia but had since had surgical implants to help stop him taking it.A police spokesman said they had responded within minutes and that it was probably normal practice for locals to help out.He said in incidents where life or property was at risk or the offender was still in the area, the 999 number should be called.But he added, because of the high volume of calls, some of which are hoax callers, they had to judge the level of response needed and allocate resources carefully.


If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Midweek Herald. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Latest from the Midweek Herald