February 26, 2009

Crime victim asked to poker night

A man who went to Oxfordshire's police headquarters to report a burglary said he was stunned when he was asked if he was there to play poker.

Graham Hall, 68, went to the Kidlington offices after his home was broken in to and was asked by a security guard if he was there to play cards. He said the guard told him there was no-one there to deal with his report.

A police statement said Mr Hall's visit coincided with a poker night at the HQ, which is not an operational station. Mr Hall discovered thieves had broken into his home in the Kidlington area at about 1830 GMT last Thursday. They had stolen snooker equipment and an electric fan.

"When I went to report it, I was greeted at the desk by a security guard who said 'good evening sir, are you here for the poker?'," Mr Hall said.

"I said I thought I had come to a police station and not a casino and told him that I'd like to report a theft.

"He said I couldn't do it there because there was not anyone there who could deal with my problem."

Mr Hall then found out he could not report the burglary at nearby Kidlington Police Station because it closes at 1700 GMT during the week. He then phoned the police non-emergency crime helpline, reported the incident and was given a crime number. However, Mr Hall said he had no further contact from the police until this week.

"I had no contact at all from the police until yesterday and today an inspector came to my house to apologise," he added.

A statement from Thames Valley Police said: "Police HQ is not an operational police station so the gentleman was unable to report the crime at this building, and was advised to call our single non-emergency number 0845 8 505 505 which is the quickest and most effective way to report a crime.

"The gentleman's visit to HQ coincided with a poker evening organised by the Thames Valley Police Sports and Social Club which was attended by off-duty staff. "The evenings are limited to a maximum of 20 staff, with a top stake of £2.50 a game and small cash prizes, and are intended to raise money for the Sports and Social Club. The nights operate fully in compliance with the licence held by Thames Valley Police HQ."

No comments:

Post a Comment