Car owner fury over police delay

POLICE today denied that short staffing was the reason a frustrated car owner was left waiting in vain, as youths who cut her fuel pipe escaped.Sharon Finbow saw three boys run away from her Vauxhall Astra parked in Aster Road, Ipswich.

POLICE today denied that short staffing was the reason a frustrated car owner was left waiting in vain, as youths who cut her fuel pipe escaped.

Sharon Finbow saw three boys run away from her Vauxhall Astra parked in Aster Road, Ipswich.

She insists they could have been caught red-handed if police had acted promptly.

Her husband Neil gave chase as she dialled 999 at 11pm, but despite repeated calls officers failed to arrive until 1.30am when the crime was well over.


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The case has echoes of front page news in Monday's national papers, when North Yorkshire police took two and a half hours to answer a 999 call, after neighbours saw a gang burgle a house then saunter out in broad daylight.

An officer arrived hours later, and reportedly said sorry.

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Mrs Finbow, 28, claims the single officer who did arrive, also apologised –saying the force was short staffed because of tonight's England football match. She said he claimed only six officers had been on duty in Ipswich between 11pm and 7am.

Mrs Finbow said: "When I had called the police at 11.45pm, they told me nobody was available to come, but I mentioned I would be calling the Evening Star and then the officer turned up later.

"It was very frustrating, especially since my husband had chased the three boys and seen them putting our fuel into their F-reg Rover which they were riding around in."

Youths had also cut the car's fuel pipe three times when she lived in Nacton.

Inspector Tim Powell from Suffolk Police said today: "We received a call from Mrs Finbow just before 11pm and she was advised that all units were dealing with other incidents and an officer would be with her as soon as they were available. An area car was nearby and advised to keep observations for the said offenders.

"The England game has no bearing on the policing within the area which

will be policed at normal levels. All officers on duty for the game have

been drafted in from in and around the county with rest days and

training days being cancelled."

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