Pensioner targeted five times by thieves – but still hasn’t been visited by police

Ken Hooper who has been burgled five times - but is still waiting for the police to turn up to investigate (SWNS Group)

A pensioner says he has been burgled FIVE times – but the police have failed to turn up to investigate ONCE.

Ken Hooper who has been burgled five times - but is still waiting for the police to turn up to investigate (SWNS Group)
Ken Hooper who has been burgled five times – but is still waiting for the police to turn up to investigate (SWNS Group)

Furious Ken Hooper, 78, has had £15,000 worth of equipment stolen following break-ins at home and at work over the last three months.

But the semi-retired businessman claims officers have been too busy to respond and blames the Government for cutting front line policing.

And a senior cop in his home town of Crediton, Devon, says the cuts have made dealing with all crimes adequately an impossible task.

Devon and Cornwall police is expecting a further budget cut of £54m a year, with the loss of up to 760 police officers and all 360 community support officers.

SWNS_MULTIPLE_ROBBERY_01Ken, who described the police as “useless,” said on two occasions neighbours even called 999 while burglars were still at his home – but officers still did not respond.

He said: “I feel sorry for the police in a way, it’ s not their fault being pressurised to do too much. But you can’t keep cutting the police force.”

The list of no-shows began when Ken was first robbed on a job in Exeter in July after a strimmer was taken from his truck while he stopped for a cup of tea.

The second incident was at his home on August 5 when thieves smashed into his shed and made away with eight chainsaws, five hedge cutters and other gardening

He was targeted again twice at home in August and on both occasions neighbours phoned the police after witnessing burglars on Ken’s property – but again officers failed to show.

Officers also didn’t attend when the window of his truck was smashed on Friday, October 9, and thieves helped themselves to an expensive strimmer.

Ken has been burgled again since when thieves broke into his home and stolen a number of ornaments -his wife Hazel’s “pride and joy”.

But he says this time he didn’t even bother reporting it to the police, saying he had “given up”.

He said: “If Crediton police station was manned, police officers could have come up to the scene within minutes.

“I’m not running the police down, they are doing their best but it’s the cut backs.

“Crediton is a big area -burglars will know they have enough time to commit a crime
before anyone is going to turn up.”

Police Sergeant David MacFadden said an officer would now be sent out to speak to Ken about the crimes.

He said appeals for information to the thefts had been put out, but he acknowledged that cuts to community policing had taken its toll.

He said: “In 2010, here in Crediton we had a police station that was open to the public, one full time sergeant, three neighbourhood beat-managers and four PCSOs.

“In 2015 we now have a police station that is closed to the public, one sergeant who now also has to cover Cullompton so can only spend 50 per cent of his time in Crediton, one neighbourhood beat manager and only three PCSO’s.

“With the real prospect of losing all our PCSOs and Neighbourhood Beat Managers and myself, these classification types of crime where there is a low threat to risk, harm and vulnerability towards the victim will be closed as source with a non police attendance simply because we don’t and won’t have the resources to send to speak to the victim in person.

“This is not a position we want to happen or like but we simply can’t sustain an attendance to every crime.

“We now need to concentrate our efforts on protecting the vulnerable.”

Sgt MacFadden warned 2016 would bring further cuts to frontline services.

He said: “Apparently, the Home Secretary believes that our frontline services haven’t been affected by the budget cuts.

“I think I’ll leave that one down to the local communities to do the ‘maths’ and they can make up their own minds as to whether or not that is true.”


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