It is probably a good idea not to park illegally in front of the Houses of Parliament in London. However, one poor unsuspecting tourist had no choice. His Ford Mondeo broke down when his brakes failed, right on Parliament Square.
, Nima Hosseini Razi, a MBA student at the University of Wales, was visiting London for just 24 hours. He should have stayed with the car and waited for the tow truck. However, he made the mistake of leaving a note on the windscreen, saying “This car is broken down. I am just waiting for the AA to arrive. Please do not fine! Thank you, yours sincerely”.
Normally, illegal parking would attract compulsory and expensive relocation of the vehicle. However, in London, police have now been instructed to blow up suspicious cars in certain areas, and they have no problem doing just that.
If the car
had been parked elsewhere, it would probably have aroused no suspicion. However, in Storey's Gate, any abandoned vehicle looks suspicious. A vigilant pedestrian spotted the car and reported it to the police.
On examining the vehicle, police then called explosive ordnance disposal specialists from the London anti-terrorist squad. The specialists decided to take no chance and followed their standing orders.
was sealed off with all civilians evacuated safely and then the bomb technicians opened the trunk of the vehicle with a controlled explosion, just meters from the Palace of Westminster and Britain's Houses of Parliament. The damaged car and its owner can be viewed here
This was not the end of the story for the poor owner, however. Once the bomb disposal squad had completed their task, traffic police officers arrived at the scene and issued a ticket for illegal parking of Razi's now semi-destroyed vehicle.
While Razi says that he is planning on claiming restitution from the London police for his destroyed vehicle, or even a replacement, the police maintain that they were merely complying with instructions to ensure security in the U.K.'s most sensitive area.