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Five men target lone female driver in Spalding

Police inspector Gareth Boxall.
Police inspector Gareth Boxall.

A 25-year-old woman has relived the ‘scariest day of her life’ after escaping from five men who had attempted to box her in with their two cars as she drove home alone.

Gemma Hammond only escaped Monday evening’s ordeal by driving her Vauxhall Astra into one of the men after they had left their cars. She also hit the man’s car and mounted a kerb to flee the scene.

I am now worried it will happen to someone else and they won’t be as lucky as me.
Gemma Hammond

She describes the incident in Spalding’s Acacia Avenue as “the scariest day of my life” and is criticising police because she believes they are failing take it seriously.

Brave Gemma posted a warning to lone drivers on Facebook that night but waited nearly 24 hours for police to see her – only to learn, she claims, they weren’t “pursuing it further” because she didn’t have dashcam footage, car number plates or witnesses.

But a police spokesman said: “We made contact with the victim soon after this incident and agreed to visit the following day.

“Unfortunately Tuesday’s weather conditions were treacherous so we were dealing with a high volume of emergencies on the roads.

“Despite 500 incidents being reported to the force that day and 90 of those being emergencies, we were still able to visit.

“We have taken an account from the victim and we would like to appeal for any other witnesses to come forward by calling 101 and quoting incident 422 of February 26.”

Gemma, who lives in Long Sutton with husband Joey, said on Tuesday night: “The police have been round.

“They are not pursuing it further due to no video footage.

“I felt like they didn’t take it seriously at all and I have put a complaint in.

“It was the scariest day of my life and they don’t seem interested.

“(The police) just said ‘if it happens again make sure I video it.’ I am now worried it will happen to someone else and they won’t be as lucky as me. I feel so let down by the police. They are here to protect us but have failed on this occasion.”

Gemma spent Monday with her mum and sister and was driving home alone via Acacia Avenue when a black BMW parked sideways in the road, while a blue Vectra came up from behind. Three men were in the Astra and two in the Vectra.

The incident happened around 6pm to 6.30pm between the Rowan Avenue and Chestnut Avenue junctions.

Quick-thinking Gemma locked her car doors, sounded the horn and forced her way out.

Gemma said: “The BMW parked sideways in the road and I went up the kerb but side-swiped the driver on the leg.

“They walked towards my car. I’m not sure what they were after. The driver of the BMW was wearing a hoody with his hood up over a cap and jeans. The other two in the BMW wore trackies and one had a black coat with fur hood.

“My car has a scrape on the left side wing from hitting the BMW and driver.

“The driver was walking to my car and I drove up the kerb and knocked him and his car with the front left of my car.

“There are a few ladies on my (Facebook) status that have had it happen to them in Boston and Grantham.”

Gemma says men involved followed her until she got to The Birds pub.

She drove on to McDonald’s so she could be in a crowded public place and phoned police.

Speaking mid-afternoon on Tuesday, Gemma said: “I was told it was a priority case but I am still waiting for them (the police) to turn up.

“I have spoken to the police on the phone four times and was told I was a priority at 8pm. No one turned up. Then I was told 11pm. No one turned up. Then I was told they would come today. Still waiting.”

Following the incident, shaken Gemma drove to Long Sutton with her sister “on speaker phone till I got home”.

Gemma says her Facebook warning to lone drivers has been shared more than 4,000 times.

She said: “Everyone has been supportive and said I was brave. I just reacted quickly and wasn’t going to let them get away with what they were doing.”

Gemma doesn’t know why she was targeted or if it was an attempted kidnap.

She said: “I couldn’t tell. I was in too much shock. I felt scared and shocked and numb.

“Now I still feel shocked like it was a dream and still scared.”

Police say the incident involving Gemma is the only one of its kind currently being investigated.

On Tuesday afternoon – before Gemma criticised the police response – South Holland community policing inspector Gareth Boxall said: “I can confirm that we did receive a similar report at 8.04pm last night and agreed to visit the caller at a mutually convenient time today.

“I understand that this incident may have frightened the caller but we have not received any other similar reports and believe this was an isolated incident.

“The circumstances reported to us do not indicate that this was any sort of abduction attempt and I want to reassure members of the public that kidnaps and abductions in this country are fortunately extremely rare.

“We encourage members of the public to contact us on 101 if you see anything suspicious but in an emergency ring 999.

“If you were in the Acacia Avenue area last night and saw something suspicious, please contact us on 101 quoting incident 422 26th February 2018.”

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