Police criticised over response time

PUBLISHED: 13:00 23 July 2008 | UPDATED: 10:53 17 June 2010

POLICE are not responding quickly enough to incidents in Sidmouth and people are alarmed if they feel unprotected. Expressing concerns about lack of policing in Sidmouth, Councillors Graham and Ann Liverton told fellow town councillors how they had tried

POLICE are not responding quickly enough to incidents in Sidmouth and people are alarmed if they feel unprotected.Expressing concerns about lack of policing in Sidmouth, Councillors Graham and Ann Liverton told fellow town councillors how they had tried to help someone who had telephoned them regarding an assault.Mr Liverton told July's council meeting: "I am very concerned about the responses that we got. This was an assault and they (police) didn't respond at all well because it took a long time.""We tried to ring the police station but there was no response there either. I went to contact the police switchboard and it took a long time."He said they hung on for about 20 minutes.He said council tax payers paid a great deal for the police service "so let's see the action, not just the words," he added.Councillor Christine Drew said she had learnt of an incident involving a dogfight where two police cars had turned up."They are not getting it right somewhere."However, she added: "Normally I am pleased with them. The police are doing a good job for us."Mrs Liverton said: "I think our own local police are as frustrated as we are."A woman involved in a minor assault on a Friday was not seen by police until the following Monday."That is the whole weekend and that is just appalling. People can't be bothered to report minor incidents so crime figures are very skewed."Chairman Councillor Tom Cox said: "It alarms people, even if they are not involved in a crime, if they feel unprotected. "That is more contagious than seeing an incident. If you feel there is no protection you feel seriously worried."He said he would put the council's concerns to Sidmouth Police.Sergeant Andy Turner said the council would usually have a monthly report in time for its meeting. "I will go and see the town clerk. PC Steve Lemon has been assigned to other duties for the last three weeks and has been committed to working on massive amounts of evidence needed to obtain two interim anti-social behaviour orders."He had more than 20 statements he needed to add to other evidence.

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