Police chief plea over lost officer time

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Police officers are losing time to tackle offences because members of the public are not turning up for scheduled appointments, according to the city’s top cop.

Superintendent Andy Gipp said eight hours of officer time was wasted in a single day as he pleaded to residents to use the police’s finite resources properly.

Speaking to the Peterborough Telegraph last week, he said: “This morning four people did not turn up and did not notify us. Whilst that happens we can’t service other high risk stuff.

“One day last week it cost us a total of eight hours from people not turning up to their appointments.

“Use the resource properly and we will do everything we can. Help us use our time.

“I would ask the public to take a moment to ask themselves, ‘does this really require a police officer to deal with it?’

“If it does call us and we will answer accordingly.”

Supt Gipp was speaking after Cambridgeshire Chief Constable Alec Wood said the force was facing an unprecedented demand on its services with a 15 per cent increase in 999 calls in the county over the past year, and a further rise since recent terror attacks.

Mr Wood added that the demand and budgetary and resource problems also meant the force had to prioritise certain crimes ahead of some anti-social offences.

Supt Gipp said he understood concerns about issues such as cars drifting - which has upset residents in the Ortons - but that with limited resources officers had to prioritise violent offences.

He added: “The problem is a lot of stuff we deal with happens behind closed doors and only affects one or two people. Children could be being abused with domestic violence a few doors down. To be able to supply that service to everybody you would have to have a lot of resource sitting around and waiting for work to come in.”