UK police officers
UK police officersMatthew Lloyd/Getty Images

Police have apologised after an injured motorcyclist who was involved in a crash was left stranded in a ditch for nearly three hours after dialling 999. Richard Collins, 49, from Bedfordshire, broke his arm in the crash near the village of Tilbrook, which is in Cambridgeshire but borders Northamptonshire and Bedfordshire.

All three police forces were notified but could not decide which should attend, so although the 999 call was placed at 4pm on Sunday (20 September), emergency services did not arrive on the scene until 6.40pm. Mr Collins made several calls, at 5.15pm, 6.10pm and 6.15pm before a Bedfordshire Police car finally arrived and took him to Bedford Hospital.

Cambridgeshire Constabulary said they received a call at 4.20pm from Northamptonshire Police, but referred it back to them after assessing the incident. Bedfordshire Police said they were informed about the accident at 4.25pm by Northamptonshire Police, but told them it was not in their dispatch area. When Bedfordshire Police were informed that emergency services had not arrived, they dispatched a car at 5.40pm, but due to the distance and difficulties locating Mr Collins, it took an hour to arrive on the scene.

"It was miscommunication, the left hand didn't seem to know what the right hand was doing," he told the BBC. "It was very painful and uncomfortable as my forearm was bent at right-angles."

"I was being passed from pillar-to-post. Apparently there's been an apology, but I haven't received it personally. All the police forces need to look at their emergency call procedures, especially when dealing with cases on their borders."

A spokesman for Cambridgeshire Police said all three forces could have provided "a better response". He said: "Investigations have confirmed that the incident took place in Bedfordshire. "However it remains clear that a better response should have been given by all three forces. We will now work with Bedfordshire and Northamptonshire to find out what went wrong and ensure this is not repeated."