'Police snub car crash which caused £100K damage to our home' - says Wheathampstead mother
PUBLISHED: 06:02 16 February 2015 | UPDATED: 11:38 16 February 2015
A woman whose home was destroyed by a rogue driver has been left frustrated by the police who failed to catch the culprit - and have now decided it was not a crime.
Jannine Oxley, 39, of Wheathampstead, had up to £100,000 worth of damage caused to the family home when a car smashed into the side of her house just after Christmas.
Fortunately, the family were out at the time but came home to a collapsed wall and severe damage to a recently refurbished office.
Jannine was disappointed that police were delayed in their response to the incident, only visiting the scene the day after.
A month later and the family are still no closer to learning the identity of the driver of the black BMW who crashed into their home and drove off.
Jannine said: “They told me that they checked out the CCTV and that’s all they can really do, but that car must have been written off. Surely there’s more they can do.”
Last week Jannine received a call to say that the incident was not being treated as a crime but as a collision.
She added: “It’s how they sort their crime figures out. If you look into it, incident level is very high and the crime level is very low.
“They told me they can’t prove it’s a crime but it’s a crime to leave the scene of an accident, I don’t see how this is different.”
She was also informed that a mere five police officers were covering the area of Harpenden, St Albans and Hatfield that evening.
Jannine said: “I’m more annoyed than anything at the police situation; it’s not their fault, but they don’t have enough staff.
“Raise my council tax if it will mean there are more people about to investigate situations properly.”
A spokesperson for Herts Police said: “We follow the National Crime Recording Standards (NCRS) guidelines which are set by the Government, not the police, and therefore can only record as a ‘crime’ an incident that these guidelines set out.
“Whilst an offence of ‘failing to stop after an accident’ has happened, under NCRS it is not a ‘recordable crime’.
“That does not mean that we have not recorded the details of the incident.
“Police have taken statements, examined the evidence and will continue to investigate and, if the driver is identified, they will be brought to justice.”
Anyone with any information to contact the police via the non-emergency number 101.