‘The call was not taken as seriously as it should have been’ - police could have missed chance to catch ram raiders red handed
- Credit: Ian Burt
Police could have missed the opportunity to catch ram raiders red handed after failing to take immediate action after being called by a witness who saw the criminals at work.
When a member of the public called at 3.06am on Monday to say a teleporter was being driven down a rural road in north Norfolk the police call taker felt no action was required.
After a discussion with a colleague a second call was made to the informant at 3.11am. The call was designated as a Grade A response and units arrived on scene at 3.28am.
Moments earlier the Nisa Local Store in Burnham Deepdale, near Wells, was ram raided. The criminals remain at large.
The incident is being linked to a ram raid at the Co-op in Wells, seven days earlier.
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The caller tweeted: 'I rang police at 3.05am to say a teleporter had been driven past my house. Wasn't taken seriously and I'm not happy.'
Norfolk police and crime commissioner Lorne Green said: 'The call was not taken as seriously as it should have been. We are all human and mistakes happen, but the caller will be receiving a call from a top officer to give an apology.'
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Asked if swifter action would have resulted in the ram raiders being caught, Mr Green said: 'I'm not sure if that's the case or not, but this caller should be applauded for calling police in the night to report suspicious activity.'
A Norfolk Police spokesman said: 'Staff in our control room are highly trained. However, in this case the call taker did not recognise the significance of a teleporter travelling down a rural road in the early hours. We've identified a learning opportunity and appropriate advice has been given to all call takers. The control room receives about 350,000 calls a year and we urge people to report suspicious activity by calling 101.'
A member of the public, who did not want to be named, said: 'I heard the call handler said they couldn't send anyone out as no crime was being committed. It's a travesty if the ram raiders get away with it.'
The ATM machine, removed from the store, was found with a stolen vehicle on Common Lane, near the A149.
Police are not aware of anything being successfully stolen from the store. Anyone with information should contact Norfolk police on 101 and quote reference NC-24072017-35.