St Albans mother's anger at police response to vandals

PUBLISHED: 16:24 05 October 2009 | UPDATED: 14:30 06 May 2010

AN ANGRY mother has hit out at police for not coming out to her home after her kitchen windows and front door were smashed. The incident at the Trumpington Drive, St Albans, home of Mrs Gillian Smith, her husband and two teenage sons, occurred shortly aft

AN ANGRY mother has hit out at police for not coming out to her home after her kitchen windows and front door were smashed.

The incident at the Trumpington Drive, St Albans, home of Mrs Gillian Smith, her husband and two teenage sons, occurred shortly after 4.30am on Saturday, September 20.

She phoned police who said they would be sending someone out but half an hour later she had a call to say the report would be dealt with over the phone.

At about 7am she got a third call checking to see if she had remembered anything else about the incident.

Mrs Smith maintains the attack was completely random and although she thought a brick had been thrown at her windows and door, nothing has been found.

The incident has left her unable to sleep properly at night and she believes the police should have come out at some stage even if it was not until later.

She said: "At night if I hear a noise I wake up. I am not sleeping properly.

"A couple a days ago someone two doors down was broken into and the police came and asked me if I had heard anything. I still feel they should have come out after our windows were broken, even if it was the next afternoon, to talk to the neighbours."

A police spokesperson said that when the call came through from Mrs Smith there were a higher-than-normal level of emergency calls being received and all police units were deployed to incidents that required an immediate response.

She explained that a call to police was graded as that when there was an immediate threat to life or property.

In Mrs Smith's case, the damage had been caused and after talking to her, the perception was that there was no immediate risk to life and although important, the call was downgraded.

She went on: "It is standard procedure that if it is apparent that the alleged perpetrators have left the scene, there was no immediate threat to life and there were no available resources, the investigation into the incident is conducted over the phone.

"This enables our officers to attend to ongoing incidents where there is evidence and there are witnesses to speak to."

The spokesperson said police had contacted Mrs Smith and her husband a couple of times by phone and the incident was logged as criminal damage

She added: "During this follow-up investigation, no further evidence came to light and in accordance with regulations, the crime was 'finalised.' However, given the couple's continued concerns, an officer will be contacting them to discuss any further issues and address any concerns.

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