Hampshire Police refuse to investigate hit-and-run crash outside Tesco petrol station in New Milton
A MOTORIST who was the victim of a hit-and-run driver in New Milton was left shocked after a Hampshire police "screening matrix" ruled out an investigation.
Jake Sheppard (69), from Pennington, was driving his imported Citroen AK400 past the Tesco petrol station in Caird Avenue when a car pulled off the forecourt right in front of him.
The retired rail signal technician said: "There was no chance I could stop in time and I hit her nearside front door.
"After the crash, the driver drove about 30 yards down the road and then stopped to get out and inspect the damage to her vehicle.
"She then she shouted back to me, 'You're far too small to see anyway' before getting back in her car and driving off.
"I did get her registration number and I have three independent witnesses, including the driver of the car who was behind her on the garage forecourt.
"I was also told by a station employee that they caught the collision on their CCTV, which they would make available to the police and insurance companies."
Mr Sheppard said he reported the collision at Lymington police station but received a letter a few days later saying they will not be investigating the incident.
The letter said the force had made the decision using "an approved screening matrix", adding: "This incident has not met the criteria and therefore no further action will be taken."
According to the "solvability matrix" published in 2017, the "majority" of road collisions where no injury has been suffered will not be investigated.
The assessment criteria includes factors such as dangerous driving, if the vehicle is identifiable and if there is any independent evidence.
Mr Sheppard said: "It's damned annoying they're not bothering to follow it up, that's the police's attitude.
"This driver told me that she couldn't see me. What if she hits someone who is not in a car?
"I can't understand the police's response. She broke the law by driving off but they've said they're not going to do anything. I was told by officers to report her to the DVLA but I don't know who she is.
"I'm not very happy about it."
Mr Sheppard said it will cost around £500 to repair his car, which he had imported from the south of France around two years ago.
He added: "The damage is covered by my insurers but I don't want to wait to get it fixed.
"I've already done a few thousand pounds' worth of restoration work to it, fitting a new chassis and body parts. My plan was to maintain as much of the original van as possible and then this happens."
A Hampshire police spokesperson said: "A report was reviewed by the collision assessment team who determined that, on this occasion, based on the evidence and information provided, this was a matter for insurance companies to resolve.
"Each report we receive is individually assessed."