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Abused and Threatened by driver with Diplomatic Plates – Totally Bizarre

By kratz - 19 October 2010 69

I’m an avid reader, but first time poster. Something strange happened today that made me want to post this message seeking help.

Today I was quietly parked in a 30 minute dropoff/pickup area adjacent to an office building in Marcus Clarke St (engine off) waiting for my wife to return from inside the building. I was there only 5 minutes when I noticed a DC plated car behind me waiting for a parking spot next to me. Next to me was a disabled spot and when the occupant exited the DC car must have realised he couldn’t park there himself. At this time there was another car waiting behind the DC car and this was a single lane area, so DC would need to leave the area. Instead, the DC driver reversed a little almost hitting the car behind him and then began shouting at me to leave my spot immediately or he will call the police. Truly bizarre!

I got out of the car to ask him what he wanted and who he was. He was shouting abuse and telling me I need to leave the parking spot right now or he will call the police. I was shocked as anyone would be and asked him who he was (stupidly thinking it may be someone of authority), he replied “I am a Diplomatic staff member” amongst other things, appearing to pull rank on me, as if I was just another Joe Citizen from Australia. Out of fear for my safety I left the parking spot and let him park there not really knowing what to make of the whole situation. Was he on drugs or is this how some diplomats treat citizens of their host country?

I want to make a complaint but don’t know where to start? How do I know which embassy he belonged to, is there a list of DC number ranges somewhere? I can’t find it anywhere.

I know the first 2 digits designate the mission and the last 2 digits the driver.

Does anyone know which country “DC 15” vehicles belong to? I am ready to lodge a formal complaint with someone!

What’s Your opinion?

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69 Responses to
Abused and Threatened by driver with Diplomatic Plates – Totally Bizarre
Holden Caulfield 10:11 am 19 Oct 10

I go by the rule that DC = Dumb C… and usually keep my wits about me when anywhere near a car with such plates.

M0les 10:10 am 19 Oct 10

Skidbladnir #7 indicated #1 Marcus Clarke has a single diplomatic space opposite it.

As far as I can tell from fumbling-around on Google Street View, The Lakeside Hotel is #2 Marcus Clarke and #1 must be associated with that NewActon confangulation accross the road.

Why there’d be a diplomatic space there is beyond me (Except The Lakeside used to be Canberra’s most macho and ostentatious place for “entertaining VIPs” several decades ago),149.117424&sspn=0.006919,0.009645&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=1+Marcus+Clarke+St,+City+Australian+Capital+Territory+2601&ll=-35.284557,149.125146&spn=0.006884,0.009645&t=h&z=17

erv 10:01 am 19 Oct 10

It’s times like these you need minties.

Wraith 9:50 am 19 Oct 10

Universal sign language works best in these instances I found.

pptvb 9:46 am 19 Oct 10

What is a “30 minute dropoff/pickup area” ? I haven’t come across one of those.
Is it a parking space or a “pick-up/set down only” space?
Or is it just Public Servant lingo for “Loading Zone”?

KB1971 9:45 am 19 Oct 10

I would have told him to fark off. Who does he think he is?

You really took the soft option by leaving, I just would have called the police & said he had a knife…..

nanzan 9:43 am 19 Oct 10

You could try contacting DFAT and they should be able to tell you which embassy owns the prefix “15”.

Once you find this out, I would encourage you to make a complaint to both the embassy concerned, probably in writing, and then perhaps to DFAT, so at least they have it on record.

Mobsta 9:42 am 19 Oct 10

Plates starting with DC15 belong to the Libyan embassy …Enjoy! 🙂

Skidbladnir 9:40 am 19 Oct 10

Depending on where you were on Marcus Clarke, there is actually a dedicated Diplomatic spot there.
From DFAT:
There are, however, a limited number of reserved parking spaces for diplomatic vehicles available in certain commercial areas of Canberra for official use by diplomatic missions. These are located as follows:
One space adjacent to No. 1 Marcus Clarke Street in the City
Six spaces at No. 2 Reg Saunders Way (off Russell Drive, adjacent to R7 North Building – Defence headquarters)
Five spaces in the courtyard accessed from Riverside Lane, off Ainslie Avenue in the City
Four spaces in the off-street parking area opposite the Alexander Building, Phillip
Vehicles with DC or DX registration plates are eligible to use these spaces.

However, most DC platers are dickheads when it comes to road safety.

motleychick 9:38 am 19 Oct 10

Postalgeek said :

aaah kratz, you had me until you said ‘I left the parking spot’.


Rollersk8r 9:37 am 19 Oct 10

Bizarre indeed. Sounds like you should have been the one calling the police.

I doubt you will get far with a complaint – but I found this on the Foreign Affairs website in the Diplomatic Protection, Privileges and Immunities section:

Motor vehicle matters: (02) 6261 2562

banjo 9:34 am 19 Oct 10

Why did you have fear for your safety? You weren’t doing anything different that he wanted to do i.e. wait for someone. He wouldn’t of been of any importance, diplomats don’t drive them selves to meetings or events, they have drivers like the person you dealt with. Personally I wouldn’t of moved because you can be guaranteed that the person held up behind the DC driver would of been on your side as well given the situation. If you could identify who the driver worked for I would lodge a complaint with embassy, consulate etc. As you can be guaranteed that the actual “diplomats” would be, well, a lot more diplomatic 🙂 The actions of there employees do reflect on them and who they represent so I doubt they would be happy about what happened. Just for the record I have a personal relationship with one of the embassy’s in Canberra and they are all lovely people including their driver so please don’t let this experience put you off all of them. Although I would always do my best to keep a safe distance when driving from any car with a DC plate… that’s just common sense 🙂

niftydog 9:31 am 19 Oct 10

You left the spot!?! Gaahh! Well, I guess if he was really going off his twig… He was probably late picking up his tyrannical ambassador and thought he’d just share the love around.

I would have offered to call the cops myself, except that I’m not sure my phone can record video and make a phone call at the same time.

Mothy 9:30 am 19 Oct 10

Funny moral compass they’ve got – they won’t park in a disabled spot, no, that’d be wrong, but they will abuse Joe Citizen and act like they’re entitled to park wherever they like?

Getting out of your car and going over to them – bad plan. Paints you as the aggressor.

Stay in the car, wind up the windows, and call their bluff. What would the police do to you after all?

Postalgeek 9:26 am 19 Oct 10

aaah kratz, you had me until you said ‘I left the parking spot’.

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