Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Third Rate Service (01/07/13)

I had a close encounter with a really poor public service the other week which is known as the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS).

Now I know that the Justice Secretary, Kenny McAskill, is carrying out a review of the courts 'service' and if my experience is anything to go by, then I would have to say that COPFS is a shambolic mess.

I contacted these public officials about a recent crime which has affected me and other local residents in the area that we live,  but when I did so I was told that it could take up to 28 days for COPFS to reply - even though it was a routine inquiry and not exactly the hunt for Jack the Ripper.

To add insult to injury, COPFS then decided that they didn't have to answer me at all because they couldn't be sure that I was who I said I was, or that I lived where I said I lived.

So COPFS decided to dispatch a Police Officer from Police Scotland, i.e. the one who investifgated the original incident and whom I had spoken to over the phone a number of times to come along to my place of abode and identify me in the flesh, so to speak.

Now I thought at the time, and still do so now, that this seemd more like an episode of Fawlty Towers than an upstanding citizen's encounter with a modern, 21st century public service and I also remember thinking: 

'Why in the name of God is a police officer instructed to come and identify me when, of course, he should be out there fighting crime - catching thieves, murderers and rapists?'   
As it turned out the Police Officer didn't come when he said he would - for operational reasons - and by this time we had gone well past the 28 day time limit within which COPFS had said they would respond to my original enquiry.

So I have complained about the whole business which has become a complete farce - and makes me wonder how many other public 'services' in Scotland are run in this ridiculous way.

I have to say that my experience of complaining to giant bureaucracies is not great, but on the other hand if you don't create a fuss, then these kind of people take the long suffering members of the public - even more for granted.

I will let you know how I get on in the days ahead.