OPINION: Calling local Police isn't as simple as it sounds
HAS anyone else out there noticed how difficult it is to contact your local police department?
Once again bureaucratic red tape seems to have gotten in the way of a good system.
What used to be a simple phone call, is something akin to sorting out an incorrect bill with your telecommunications provider.
I am sure I'm not alone when it comes to this, and I know our local, hard-working police officers find this issue just as frustrating as I do.
On Saturday night, my husband and I were travelling north on the Bruce Highway and as we came to the end of the new highway section near Kybong, just south of Gympie, there was no warning of the change in road conditions ahead. Most of the signs were knocked over and it very suddenly changed from two lanes back into one.
It was an accident waiting to happen.
Firstly, I googled the number for the local Gympie police station and called. A message bank answered telling me if I, or someone else was in immediate danger to hang up now and call 000. Alternatively, I should visit my local police station in person, or if I wanted to report a crime, to call Policelink.
I really didn't feel it was appropriate to clog up the emergency hotline with a traffic complaint, and we weren't travelling into Gympie itself, so I tried to call Policelink.
By the time I had listened to the message, and memorised the number we dropped out of phone service.
If my husband wasn't pulled over for a random breath test on the way to Rainbow Beach I don't know how we would have reported it until we arrived in phone service again.
When I arrived at work this morning I saw a QPS notice about a crash at Kybong and instantly felt dismayed as I tried to do something. Then, I started overthinking, accusing the Police officer who pulled us over of not taking our report seriously and it had resulted in an accident.
The Gympie Times later reported that it was brake failure on a vintage car that had caused the accident, and not the poorly signed road works. But it still made my heart skip a beat.
When and why did police become so inaccessible?
When you're driving along, and see something that could be of danger, the fact that it's no longer a simple phone call to report it is disheartening.
One of the options was to visit my local police station in person. My last visit to a local police station was only a month or two ago, and I even had an appointment and I was left standing on the footpath wondering how I was to get inside.
I tried phoning the Hervey Bay station directly, which had a message for me to call Policelink. So, I phoned Policelink, who told me to phone Hervey Bay. I told them I'd already tried so someone in Policelink, wherever they're located, eventually got through to someone in Hervey Bay who let me in for my pre-arranged appointment.
I won't be surprised when QPS starts outsourcing Policelink, and we'll be speaking with people offshore when we're trying to report something to our local police.