Name and address withheld by request.
He may go by the name ‘Alfie’. He has been walking and muttering to himself, along the roads in Byron Shire for years. Not to be confused with Shanti, whose colourful couture can be seen from outer space, Alfie wears black garbage bags.
It doesn’t take a medico to know that Alfie has mental problems.
Last Saturday night I nearly collected Alfie. Given the virulent breeding of potholes, I found myself driving towards the centre of the road as opposed to sitting in the middle of the vehicular lane. I certainly wasn’t speeding when out of nowhere the headlights caught Alfie leaning into the roadway. He was in black and only for the outline and movement of his body was I able to realise it was ‘that man’.
I phoned the police only to find out that, not only is he well known to them, but a number of people have phoned to advise of the pending danger of Alfie’s behaviour. The purpose of my phone call was to have on their ‘system’ information that Alfie’s behaviour puts him and anyone who collects him at risk. Their response was that without whatever the necessary evidence is to have Alfie scheduled, all they can do is ask him not to walk on the road.
Given what is at stake, say a manslaughter charge for an unsuspecting driver, death and/ or permanent injuries and all the stress/ angst/ financial costs that goes with an accident and court proceedings, the response from the police has been presented as though their hands are tied.
So, if you see Alfie putting himself at danger, and indeed putting a driver in danger, please ring the police. Perhaps, in response to the numbers who call, Alfie’s needs may get addressed and someone may not have to face criminal charges?