Theft anger

PUBLISHED: 16:03 05 August 2008 | UPDATED: 22:08 15 June 2010

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 7: POLICE have defended their response to a break-in after staff at an Axminster shop expressed their anger. Staff at Courtesy Care, a mobility shop in Chard Street, said they waited over a week to be visited by police officers after they reported a break-in

POLICE have defended their response to a break-in after staff at an Axminster shop expressed their anger.Staff at Courtesy Care, a mobility shop in Chard Street, said they waited over a week to be visited by police officers after they reported a break-in.However, PC Darren Herridge was sympathetic but said the crime was investigated as soon as was practicable.The shop was burgled on Sunday night, June 13, and the incident was reported the next morning.But no officer visited the store until the following Tuesday.The claims come just a week after the Herald reported newsagent Marcus Hartnell was left waiting a week when he reported a burglary.Shop supervisor Michelle Bryant echoed Mr Hartnell's words, saying: "I feel very angry. We pay a lot of taxes, but when we actually need the police they don't bother. They don't seem to care."Petty cash of £150 was stolen. But, as in Mr Hartnell's case, the real cost was to the door which was broken on entry. Repairs came to nearly £300.And staff were unable to leave the crime scene intact for forensics as they did not go out immediately."We weren't visited by forensics until the Tuesday - a day after we reported it," said Miss Bryant. "We couldn't leave things as they were - we would have invited more thieves."It's not very pleasant to be burgled. The idea that somebody has gone on to your property makes you feel uncomfortable."It's distressing and the police should be quicker to respond. Major things could have been taken."PC Darren Herridge, neighbourhood beat manager for Axminster, said: "Whilst I sympathise with victims of crime having to wait a period of time for an officer to attend, I do feel that in these particular circumstances, a thorough investigation was conducted as soon as practicable. "An officer that is allocated a crime has to prioritise this, with any other offences currently being investigated by him."Couple this with the fact that there are demands placed on him by urgent calls that come through to the control room, it is not always possible to see people as promptly as they, or the Constabulary, would ideally like."This is recognised as a problem. Giving victims more information at the initial time of the crime being reported would allow them a more realistic expectation of what will happen from then on.

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