Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Police priorities

There's a story round my neck of the woods, about an incident a couple of years ago just like this one:

ARNOLD A family who dialled 999 when eight men wearing balaclavas burst into their home at 11.15pm were told by the police that they were too busy to come.

Mathew Sims, 24, his partner Sarah Barham, also 24, and their two children, aged 6 and 5, ran upstairs when the men, one brandishing an axe, smashed the glass in a door that Mr Sims was trying to keep closed.

Eventually the burglars left in two cars after stripping the downstairs rooms of electrical items. Three hours later the police turned up at the house – barely a mile from a police station – in Arnold, Nottinghamshire. Mr Sims said: “The minute we knew these people were in the house we rang the police, but they said it would be at least half an hour before they could come out.

“No one from the police had turned up half an hour later, and when we rang again they said there was no one they could send.”
In this story, a farmer in a remote farmhouse heard burglars downstairs, called the police and was told they had nobody in the area and that the farmer should lock himself in his bedroom. he hung up, thought for a moment, then called the police back, saying "It's OK, I shot them". The police - armed police - arrived ten minutes later.

That might be apocryphal but it does show what people think of the police, just as the news report quoted above shows they are right to think this.

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