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Couple outraged after eight hour wait for police

By Isle of Thanet Gazette  |  Posted: April 25, 2014

By David Archer david.archer@KRNmedia.co.uk

  • OVER 8 HOURS: Martin and Helen Webber stayed up all night in fear GIBG20140422D-004_C

  • EIGHT TIMES: Martin Webber phoned the police throughout the night and went to Margate Police Station but got no response until 7.45am

  • SMASHED: Every single window on the Volvo 580 was broken

  • SHATTERED: More than £2,000 of damage was done to the car

Comments (3)

A BROADSTAIRS couple are outraged at the lack of police action after they reported their car had been wrecked outside their home.

Martin Webber, 69, and his wife Helen, 67, were woken at 11pm on Good Friday by the sound of their car alarm.

Mr Webber went outside his Kingsgate Avenue home to find all of the windows of his Volvo 580 had been smashed, amounting to more than £2,000 of damage.

He called the police and was told a patrol car would be with him within the hour.

No car arrived and Mr Webber phoned a further three times, and says each time he was assured someone would come.

In desperation, he went to Margate Police Station at 2.15am but was turned away.

When he got home he made a further eight calls to the police. An officer finally arrived at 7.45am on Saturday.

Mr Webber, who has lived in Kingsgate with his wife for more than 20 years, said: "My wife and I are sure this was a deliberate act of aggression and intimidation and were immensely worried and frightened. I immediately telephoned the police and was told that a patrol car would be with me within the hour.

"Eventually, after a long, sleepless and very anxious night and after numerous fruitless pleas and telephone calls, a police officer came to our house at 7.45am on Saturday April 19 – more than eight hours after my first telephone call.

"I have never, until now, needed to call the police but I had always thought that help and assistance would be available if needed. I am profoundly shocked to discover that, in fact, help and assistance is not available when needed.

"I regard this as grossly unsatisfactory. I believe that I am entitled to the help and protection of the police at all times and that I have been very seriously betrayed and abandoned by them."

But Kent Police says there were high-priority incidents being dealt with at the time of Mr Webber's calls.

A spokesman said: "Kent Police was called around 11.20pm but was unable to send a patrol immediately as officers were dealing with incidents where life was at risk, including a high-risk missing person and domestic violence.

"The victim went to the police station during the early hours of the following morning when it was closed to the public and there was no one available to deal with his enquiry.

"Police have carried out house-to-house enquiries and would like to hear from anyone who witnessed the damage being caused or has any information."

If anyone has information contact PC Lucy Hazelden on 101 quoting crime report ZY/12482/14 or anonymously contact Kent Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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  • Kent_Resident  |  April 29 2014, 11:40AM

    The excuses given for the police not to turn up written in the report above ring a bell for me. When I desperately needed them in the night as a break-in was happening in Thanet I was told they were on their way. Nobody turned up and the culprits had gained access. I phoned back and was given the same two excuses given here - a missing person and violent crime. Obviously there are few officers on duty to except urgent calls overnight but 11.00 pm is not that late and to ignore pleas of help is disgusting. The chief officer must explain ! Where is Commisioner Ann Barnes when you want her ? Worrying about her new office at over £100,000 cost to us. Get your priorities right please and Police the streets of Kent and Thanet. No wonder crime is rising again in Kent.

    Rate   1
  • hmmahh  |  April 25 2014, 9:17PM


    Rate   2
  • Reasonableman  |  April 25 2014, 6:34PM

    The response time for the murder of David O'Leary 2008 was 45 minutes. When will people wake up to the reality about Kent Police ? As much use as udders on a bull.

    Rate   -2