Victim waits a week for police response

PUBLISHED: 09:48 30 July 2008 | UPDATED: 22:08 15 June 2010

A SEATON shopkeeper was angry when it took police a week to get in touch after he reported a burglary.

A SEATON shopkeeper was angry when it took police a week to get in touch after he reported a burglary.Marcus Hartnell, of New Look News, in Harbour Road, had his garage broken into on July 17 - with cases of alcohol worth around £40 to £50 stolen. And repairs to the door could cost as much as £150.Despite reporting it the following day and being advised not to touch anything, he was not visited by any officer and waited a week for a follow up call.Only last week the Herald reported that police figures show a reduction in crime - but Mr Hartnell believes it is because people have lost faith in the police force and no longer report incidents."Why would I report another crime when they haven't come out to this one?" he questioned. "I don't think crime is down, but people aren't reporting it and figures are being massaged. I think it's really wrong that this should be brushed under the carpet."I'd imagine all the leads would be cold after such time, and I'm worried this could happen again. What could I do? Hold the person until the police came? It's very frustrating."A witness saw three teenagers leaving the shop with what looked like alcohol and told Mr Hartnell. "The police probably didn't know this as they didn't contact me again," said Mr Hartnell. "There's a concern with under-age drinking, especially as they are prepared to break in to get alcohol."If the police had acted quickly there's a chance they could have found the alcohol - as teenagers are not likely to take it home but drink somewhere else."He said when he first reported the burglary he spent 20 minutes on the phone to the police. Now he feels he wasted his time and has been let down. Left out of pocket, he feels there is no justice."It's been distressing to me. I feel somebody has got away with it and there's been no attempt to catch those involved or get my property back."Why do we pay taxes towards local policing? It's laughable. It may be considered a petty theft, but I believe small crimes can lead to bigger things."And the police should be making information available so that people can be more aware and vigilant."Inspector Jim Gale said: "We treat all victims of crime seriously and we take reports of crime seriously."We would urge people to contact police and report incidents of crime. As inspector, I expect a high quality of policing from my staff. When this falls short, I ask questions as to why."He added the case was still open and that the matter was being looked into.

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