Superhero taxi driver
A taxi driver has been honoured by Greater Manchester Police’s Chief Constable for a glowing display of community spirit in caring for a vulnerable pensioner..
87-year-old William Place, who retired as a police officer in 1984, had been visiting his wife, Moreen, in Manchester Royal Infirmary but lost track of time and left later than he normally would have.
When William arrived home, the entrance to the shared shelter housing had been locked with a padlock. He did not have a key and the sheltered housing was surrounded by 5ft metal fencing.
Unsure of what to do, a confused William wandered onto Stockport Road and sought shelter in a bus stop where he was spotted by taxi-driver Kamran Rasheed, 44, in the early hours of the morning, around 2am.
Knowing that the bus service had stopped for the evening, Kamran dropped off his fare and returned to the bus stop to offer William a lift home free of charge.
Noticing that William was cold and disorientated, Kamran took him to McDonalds to get him a hot drink before taking him to Longsight Police Station.
At this point PC Peter Crowe drove past and approached the pair thinking it was a dispute but soon found out that Kamran intended to take William home for food and a warm bed, or to pay for a hotel room for him.
Kamran then drove William home with PC Crowe but the sheltered housing company did not have an out-of-hours service, so the lock needed to be removed by the officer.
In total, Kamran stayed with William for around four hours, devoting his own working time to care for William.
Chief Constable Ian Hopkins said: “This is a glowing example of community spirit and a selfless display of care and compassion for others.
“Kamran’s dedication ensured that this vulnerable man was looked after and rescued him from a potentially serious situation and I’m delighted that William is now safe and well.
“His actions that night deserve to be recognised. I am proud to be able to award him with a Chief Constable’s Commendation.”
Kamran, who is also a foster carer, said: “At first I only pulled over to tell him that the buses had stopped, but he told me he wasn’t waiting for a bus.
“I offered him a lift and took him to get a warm drink before I took him to the station. I just did it because it was the right thing to do.
“It’s wonderful to receive this commendation. It was a new experience and I never thought I would be recognised with anything like this so I’m really proud.”
PC Peter Crowe said: “I’ve met a lot of people, some good and some bad but the compassion and support Kamran offered William was truly heart-warming.
“It wasn't done for reward, praise or recognition; it was a plain and pure example of a genuinely caring man doing something for someone because it was the right thing to do.”