999 call over armed burglary in Leighton ‘ignored’ by police

Crime news
Crime news

A Leighton Buzzard man who desperately called 999 as his colleague was being threatened with a metal bar, claims police ignored his call.

The man was working at his business on Tuesday, February 21 at 4pm when he and other employees came across thieves stealing equipment.

Within seconds, the man said, there were threats of violence from the burglars.

“One of them picked up a wheel brace and threatened my colleague. As this was happening I was in my car calling police.

“When they went for my mate, I was on the phone telling them to get someone here now but no-one came.

“Eventually, they got in their van. There was a car that was blocking their way and they just totalled their way through it. No-one came out to see us, it was pathetic.”

A forensics officer attended the scene on Wednesday, followed by a rural police liaison officer on Thursday.

He said: “When you’re under attack and you ring 999 – you want a response, you want police to get there.”

On Saturday – four days after the incident – the man met with police to give a statement.

He claims a lack of available resource was the explanation for a lack of response.

The man said: “God help you if you’re in Leighton Buzzard ringing 999, because the police won’t come in time.

“I told the officer, ‘you’re lucky that you’re not looking at a manslaughter charge’. If you get no response from police, what actions have you got to take?”

A Beds Police spokesman said: “We take all reports of crime seriously and each incident is individually assessed by our control room with officers deployed based on the level of threat, risk and harm, vulnerability of the victim and investigative opportunities.

“On this occasion, officers were not deployed immediately because the offenders left the scene within a minute of the call being received, there were no injuries reported and there was no ongoing threat to others.

“At the time we received the call, we were dealing with a large number of incidents including a serious collision involving a car and lorry in Luton Road, Dunstable, which resulted in the road being closed.

“However, while we did not send officers directly to the scene, those nearby were briefed with the details of a vehicle involved in the incident and asked to remain alert to any potentially linked activity.”

“An appointment was also made for officers to visit the victim at the earliest convenient opportunity in order to gather a statement and further information; the investigation is on-going with a number of lines of enquiry being followed up.

“Anyone with any information is asked to call 101 quoting crime reference number JD/07505/2017. Alternatively please call Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.”