A FORMER policeman has blasted his ex-colleagues for failing to respond when he reported that someone was threatening to kill him.
Geoff Platt called 999 after being followed around Purley town centre on Tuesday by a burly man with tattoos on his face who was shouting and swearing at him.
But when he got through to the control room at Scotland Yard, the 57-year-old claims the operator refused to send an officer and then failed to record that he had reported a crime.
Mr Platt said: "I'm 6ft 6 and 23 stone but when someone with tattoos all over his face and a 60-inch chest threatens to kill you, then follows you around, you start to worry he might actually mean it. I only hope that if I was a frail old lady they would have at least sent someone to come and question the bloke."
The former weightlifter, who served as a police officer for 24 years, including a stint with the Flying Squad, was outside Lorimers stationery shop at noon when the incident began.
"There was an elderly lady with a zimmer frame taking her time to leave the shop," said Mr Platt.
"I was in the queue waiting when three youngsters went to push past her. I put my hand out and they stepped back to let her through.
"When she left I went inside and the youngsters followed me in. An unusual looking bloke in a black jacket and a porkpie hat came up to me.
"He was about 40 and he was really, really big. His chest must have been 60 inches and he had tattoos on his face.
"This guy came straight up to my face and said 'if you touch those boys again I'll kill you'.
"I tried to explain that he had made a mistake, but he wouldn't listen."
Mr Platt was then followed when he left the shop. As he walked down the street the man grabbed his arm, swore at him and repeated his threat, and then continued to follow him.
When Mr Platt went into a shop, his pursuer was waiting for him when he left. He tried to report it at Purley Police Station, only to discover it was closed, so when he reached the railway station he decided to call 999.
"I felt I was in danger," he said. "I didn't know whether he had a knife or a weapon, but when I called the police the operator wasn't interested.
"I made specific allegations about threats to kill but was told no officer would be sent out. They could have at least gone to speak to this guy.
"I wasn't getting anywhere so I jumped on a train to get out of there."
The Met said its telephone operator had offered to send an officer to the scene but Mr Platt refused, a claim he described as a "categoric lie".
"I asked several times and was told no one was coming," he added.
After the Advertiser contacted Croydon Police with Mr Platt's concerns, a member of Purley Safer Neighbourhoods Team called him to discuss the incident.