‘We could be dead now’ - Businessman criticises police over response to suspected break-in

A BUSINESSMAN has criticised the police for failing to respond after his neighbours reported what they feared was an armed robbery.

Neighbours of Richard Grosvenor, who runs Alvenor Aquatics, in Murrow, heard what they thought were gunshots on the evening of May 12 this year. They reported the “loud bangs and flashes” to police - but no officers came to check on the situation.

Fenland Inspector Robin Sissons said the police had researched the incident and given a “proportionate” response but he also apologised for failing to contact Mr Grosvenor.

Mr Grosvenor has now written a letter to police stating that, although the incident turned out to be a false alarm, their response was “simply not good enough”.

In it, he says: “If you received a call from someone worried that either we or our business was under armed attack why did we not have some form of police response to check we were alive and well?

He added: “The more we think about this the angrier we get. We could be dead now, laying in our yard with our heads blown off.

“When you hear of the police over-reacting when primary school children have had a tiny playground spat and it’s then escalated into a ‘racially motivated hate crime’ it really leaves me bewildered that when someone reports a possible armed robbery you do absolutely nothing about it.”

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Mr Grosvenor, who lives at the family-run business with his mother, said he had assumed the noises were fireworks.

But he said the business had suffered break-ins before and it was not “far-fetched that we could have had an armed break-in”.

He said: “I don’t expect to have 20 armed response vehicles and the police helicopter outside my property within five minutes of the report being made but I would have expected at the very least a phone call to make sure we were OK.”

Insp Sissons said: “It is true that the incident was reported to the police. Due to the fact that a firearm may have been involved it was immediately brought to the attention of the Inspector in charge of the Force Control Room.

“This high ranking officer has been trained to a national standard to assess and evaluate the information available. He would have done further research and finally would have formulated a response that is proportionate.

“I can confirm that all of this was done and it would seem that the right decision was made. However, we have failed to re-contact Mr Grosvenor and inform him of this.

“If we had done that then I am sure he would have been reassured. I can only apologise for this lack of action as it has clearly affected his confidence in us.

“We are investigating why this was not done and will be in contact with him soon. Please be reassured that these incidents are taken seriously and are dealt with by high ranking officers and qualified staff.”

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