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Criticism of City-Parkraum and police: Delay in taking emergency call from underground car park

Criticism of City-Parkraum and police : Delay in taking emergency call from underground car park

A GA reader tried in vain to reach the control centre of City-Parkraum during a scary situation. A call to the police also did not go as the woman expected.

One GA reader has experienced first hand how hard it can be to get help. The 58-year-old had parked her car on the lowest floor of City-Garage on Oxfordstraße. On the way to her car, around 8pm, she noticed a man who sitting in a dark corner who, she suspected, had been consuming drugs. “He seemed aggressive,” explains the reader. Since she wanted to prevent other people, particularly women, from running into the man, she tried to reach the central control centre of City-Parkraum GmbH, the company responsible for the underground car park – in vain, however. And even a phone call to the police did not go as the woman expected.

When she discovered the man, she quickly paid, went to her car and then drove to the exit barrier, the 58-year-old says. There, she pressed the button that was supposed to connect her with the City-Parkraum control centre. She did not get an answer. “I waited several minutes, but then had to leave the garage as another car also wanted to drive out,” she says, disenchanted. Once outside, she then made a phone call to the police station on Bornheimer Straße. “I described the situation to the officer and asked that a patrol car pass by.”

Surprised by police officer’s response

However, she had not counted on the police officer’s response. “What else do you think we should do,” the man said. And he continued: where should the man go if the police move him on, what if he goes to a park and frightens a woman there. The police officer asked if this was what she wanted. “I told him that I had not called to have a discussion with him,” says the reader. She does not know whether a patrol car finally arrived.

It did, according to police. The call was received at 8.12pm and “at 8.13pm a patrol car was sent that arrived at the Friedensplatz garage at 8.20pm,” reports a police spokesperson. They found the man described there, performed checks and asked him to leave, “which he did immediately. In this respect, there is nothing to object to in the way the operation was carried out.” As far as the conversation was concerned, “communication and its effects were discussed by the supervisor in a conversation with the officer.”

City-Parkraum cannot explain why no conversation took place. An examination showed, “that at the time described, the call was taken after 18 seconds,” says Veronika John for the company. The employee was on the line for six seconds, but got no answer. In future, however, the aim is to ensure that calls are answered in less than ten seconds. It took longer because, “the colleague was talking on another line.”

(Original text: Ayla Jacob. Translation: kc)