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Police defend 101 call complaints at Hartlepool council meeting

Gang stab victim, 37, in head in Preston to steal 150 cash
Gang stab victim, 37, in head in Preston to steal 150 cash

Complaints have been made by residents over the lack of police on streets and the response received from officers when dialling 101.

Councillors and residents at Hartlepool Borough Council’s South and Central Community Forum meeting voiced concerns over the police resources being put into the town.

Chief inspector Nigel Burnell, of Cleveland Police, defended the efforts stating they are doing the best they can in ‘changing times and austerity’.

Coun Tony Richardson, Fens and Rossmere Ward representative, said he had complaints from residents who were unhappy with the response of police from 101 calls.

He said: “It’s wrong, nothing is getting done.

“I’ve had a women in my ward come to me and I’ve had to phone the police for her.”

Residents also complained at the forum at the lack of police presence in the area, and called on local representatives to campaign national government for more resources.

Resident Evelyn Leck said: “We need police on the streets, whether that’s PCSOs or something else.

“Hartlepool gets the crumbs again, not a slice of the cake.

“We need to all get together and ask for more.

“We need to be like Oliver and say ‘please sir can I have some more’.”

Chief inspector Nigel Burnell said the police deal with many calls from residents each day and work as hard as they can to provide the best service.

He said: “We get hundreds of people who ring in to our call room each day.

“Officers are working really, really hard trying to make the best of what we get.

“We’re not going to get it right all the time.

“Out of the hundreds of calls sometimes people are not going to get services they would like or that we would be proud of, and there is a complaints process.

“People can’t expect to see police officers on every street, we don’t have the resources.

“Now we have less officers we need to prioritise. Sometimes officers will be dealing with high priority issues, then when there is something with minimal risk do we call someone away?

“Things have changed and we are in difficult times, the austerity is well publicised.”

He also called for anyone wanting to speak to police to visit one of the Hartlepool Community Safety Team hubs.

For more information visit www.hartlepool.gov.uk/saferhartlepool.