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Blind Man Arrested Over Protest

August 28, 2009

A blind man who complained to police about cars parking on a pavement was arrested when he threatened to let down the vehicles’ tyres.

Daniel Duckfield, from Narberth, Pembrokeshire, said he and his guide dog had to walk in the road when paths were blocked by illegally-parked cars.

He has complained about being cautioned and put in a cell after his arrest.

Dyfed-Powys Police said it was investigating Mr Duckfield’s complaints.

Mr Duckfield, who became blind in December 1999, claimed police were not doing enough to tackle motorists parking illegally on pavements near his home.

He said he had repeatedly complained to officers about cars blocking his path when he went out of his house, forcing him and his guide dog to walk on a main road.

Last week, after phoning officers and feeling he was getting no help, he went a step further.

He said: “I said all right, if you’re not going to do anything I’ll do something myself, I’ll let the tyres down and I’ll write ‘no parking’ on the windscreen.

“I went to the door [and] locked the door. By the time I got 50 yards down my street there was a policeman running towards me.

“He told me he was going to arrest me because I had threatened to let tyres down and threatened to write on windscreens.”

Mr Duckfield said he was taken to a police station and held in a cell before being cautioned.

He said: “I thought it was absolutely disgusting. I came back here and I sat down and I almost cried but I thought, no, the temper took over me.”

Mr Duckfield said the arrest meant he would no longer be asked to visit schools with his guide dog.

Dyfed-Powys Police said the force had held a crackdown on illegal parking in Narberth last month.

A spokesperson added: “It is unfortunate Mr Duckfield decided to take matters into his own hands on this occasion.”

The spokesperson added Mr Duckfield’s complaints would be fully investigated.

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