11:25AM, Friday 22 April 2016
A motorist who was reported to police for lifting the barrier after becoming trapped in the Nicholsons Centre car park has blasted the Royal Borough for its handling of the incident.
Stephen Davis, 42, was trying to leave the multi-storey last month when the automatic number plate recognition system failed to register his car, and the barrier would not rise to let him out. The IT professional from Windsor was eventually able to get out by lifting the barrier himself.
He said: “I had parked there to go to the gym, as usual, came back about an hour-an-a-half later and the barrier didn’t move. I pressed the call button and there was no answer, so I called the control room and told them what had happened.
“While I was talking to them I tried gently lifting the barrier and I was surprised at how easily it moved so told him [the person in the control room] I had found a solution.
“He said it was criminal damage and he was watching me on the on the camera but a child could have lifted it.”
Mr Davis was reported to the police for causing criminal damage. But, following his complaint to the Royal Borough, council officers conceded at the time staff ‘did not know if actual damage was caused’ but said that ‘under current procedure’ they had had to inform police.
On Tuesday, Mr Davis was told by police they would not be taking any further action.
Mr Davis said: “I think the council is panicking. They don’t know what they’re doing and this is a last attempt to blame the residents when instead they should be sorting this out. It smells of desperation to me.”
A Royal Borough spokesman said: “Manually lifting the barrier is not acceptable and causes damage to the automated mechanism.”
A student from Maidenhead who suspects she was spiked with a needle on a night out after waking up in hospital the next day has urged people to report similar incidents to the police.