READER’S OPINION: Why is a theft of tools worth £6,000+ not worthy of police time?

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Aaron Brown

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The gang break into the Stoke store. Credit: Staffordshire Police

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Last week I was the victim of a theft of more than £6,000 worth of tools from my van parked in Milton.

The police gave me a crime number and told me there would be no investigation and no further action because there were no leads.

They said there was no possibility of obtaining fingerprints from my van and they were unwilling to check roadside CCTV – although there are major road junctions in both directions from the scene and we know the theft took place late Sunday night.

I know that I am not alone in this experience and it is not the first time I have been a victim and met with total disinterest by the police.

Clearly the criminals are aware of this police apathy and so their activities are encouraged, as they are without risk.

The person taking our report of theft even remarked ‘every other phone call I get is theft from a van’, and yet talking to other victims, the common police response appears to be no response.

The facile excuse often offered by public bodies, and which I anticipate from the police is ‘lack of resources’.

Many people know that the police will mobilise considerable resources to confront you should you fail to fasten your seatbelt when driving, and further administrative resources to enforce a fine, but a theft of £6,000+ is not worthy of their time.

So we live in a society where theft is an acceptable fact of life.

I have to ask Hampshire Constabulary and the police and crime commissioner: ‘At what value does theft become a crime worthy of police action?’

*This letter was submitted to The News by John Harmer, of Milton, Portsmouth

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