El­derly crime vic­tim let down by the po­lice

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Home Help With A Difference -

Who steals my purse steals trash… (Shake­speare, Othello, act 3 scene 3). It was some time be­tween 10.30 and 11 o’clock last Fri­day evening when a woman of some 60-plus years was walk­ing along El­wick Road past Deben­hams.

She was sud­denly con­fronted by a young man. ‘Late teens, early twen­ties I think’ she said.

‘He was white, he was English, he was wear­ing a bright, newlook­ing white shirt and he seemed to ap­pear from nowhere’.

He told her that he had no money to get back to Maid­stone and if she didn’t hand over her purse, he would ‘hurt her’.

Sen­si­bly, the woman did as she was told and handed this par­tic­u­lar ap­ple of some mother’s eye her purse. It con­tained £30 in notes, to which our hero helped him­self be­fore head­ing off to­wards the rail­way sta­tion.

Ar­riv­ing home, the woman phoned her daugh­ter who im­me­di­ately called the po­lice.

She was told that some of­fi­cers would be on the way. About four hours later an­other call was made, to the 101 num­ber, to say that, since no po­lice had turned up and, since the woman had to go to work in four hours’ time and since it was un­likely that the thief would be ap­pre­hended, could the of­fi­cers call some other time.

‘He told her if she didn’t hand over her purse, he would ‘hurt her’.’

As the phone call fin­ished, a male po­lice­man and a lady po­lice­man ar­rived on the doorstep. They asked her what had hap­pened, where, when, de­scrip­tion of the thief, what had been said and how much money had been taken. They then left.

The next day (Satur­day), the woman was phoned at work. She was asked had any­one taken a state­ment and had she been told to put her purse in a plas­tic bag to pre­serve any pos­si­ble fin­ger­prints.

The an­swer was no and no. The fol­low­ing morn­ing (Sun­day) a charm­ing lady po­lice­man called and asked about the purse.

She de­cided that, since it had been of­ten han­dled, there was no point in tak­ing it for foren­sic ex­am­i­na­tion.

I had hoped to have a word with our Po­lice Com­mis­sioner to dis­cuss the some­what frag­mented man­ner in which this lady’s case had been dealt with, par­tic­u­larly since there seemed no way in which it could be suc­cess­fully con­cluded.

I don’t think she wanted to talk to me.

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