Cambridgeshire

Backlash over hunt for motorist who soaked woman and children

Car driving through puddle Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption A complaint was made after a woman and children were splashed by a driver in the Pig Lane area of St Ives

A police force which launched a witness appeal after a drive-by puddle-splashing has been mocked online.

Two children and a woman were soaked when a motorist drove through the water in St Ives, Cambridgeshire.

A plea for information was posted by an officer when the "potential crime" was reported - sparking accusations the force was wasting resources.

But Police and Crime Commissioner Jason Ablewhite replied: "Please be assured that the flying squad did not attend."

Mr Ablewhite responded after the appeal was publicised in the Cambridge News.

The woman, accompanied by a child and another in a pram, were splashed as a driver went through a 20ft (6m) puddle as they walked on a pavement near Pig Lane in St Ives.

Image copyright Google
Image caption The incident in the Pig Lane area of St Ives was mentioned to a local police officer

The appeal, by a police community support officer, read: "Unbelievably a motorist drove through the puddle causing the water to soak the three.

"The driver could well have waited to drive around the puddle or drive through it very slowly so as to not cause water to splash anyone on the footpath."

Police said the driver "could be prosecuted for driving without due consideration", if the act was deliberate.

However, the appeal sparked a backlash on social media, with the police and crime commissioner being asked to "please explain this waste of tax payers' money".

Police and Crime Commissioner Jason Ablewhite replied: "Please be assured that the flying squad did not attend."

Image caption Conservative PCC Jason Ablewhite assured concerned people the "flying squad" was not investigating the puddle debacle

He told the BBC: "This was one PCSO making local enquiries and the resource is proportionate to the complaint."

Cambridgeshire Police said no-one had yet admitted being responsible for the incident.

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