County border motorbike crash victim left in ditch for three hours amid police confusion

Crash near Tilbrook, Cambridgeshire, borders three different counties

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The Independent Online

A motorcyclist was left in a ditch for almost three hours after a crash because police forces couldn't agree on who was responsible for helping him.

The unnamed crash victim came off his bike on a B-road near the small village of Tilbrook in Cambridgeshire, which borders both Bedfordshire and Northamptonshire.

An emergency 999 call was made shortly after the incident at 4pm on Sunday afternoon, BBC News reported, yet no one arrived at the scene of the crash until 6.40pm.

All three police forces involved have apologised over the incident, described as a "scandal" by the Northamptonshire Police and Crime Commissioner Adam Simmonds.

It is understood that Northamptonshire Police received the first call about the crash, and told Bedfordshire Police staff about it at 4.25pm.

A spokesperson for Befordshire Police told The Independent that the section of the B645 where the crash took place was definitely not in their jurisdiction - and that they told Northampton Police this at the time.

But when the Bedfordshire force was again informed one hour and 15 minutes later that no one had been sent to the scene, they dispatched a squad car. When it finally arrived after difficulties locating the site of the crash, police drove the victim to Bedford Hospital for treatment to an injured arm, since no ambulance had attended.

Bedfordshire Police's Chief Inspector Nick Lyall said an investigation had been launched into what went wrong, and said the motorcyclist had raced "an unacceptable delay before receiving help".

In a statement, he said: "Although the incident did not occur in an area covered by Bedfordshire Police, as soon as we were made aware that no emergency services had attended, we immediately dispatched a police car.

"We would like to apologise to the man involved for the length of time it took to get an emergency response to him, and we would like to reassure both him and the public that we are looking into the circumstances with colleagues at Northamptonshire Police, Cambridgeshire Constabulary and the ambulance service in order to prevent a repeat of such delays in the future."

The East Midlands Ambulance Service told the BBC it had no record of the incident.

A spokesperson for Cambridgeshire Police told The Independent: "It remains unclear as to which county the incident occurred in. It is clear that a better response should have been given.

"We will now work with Bedfordshire and Northamptonshire to find out what went wrong and ensure this is not repeated."

Northamptonshire Police is yet to respond to a request for comment.