Police 'cannot attend every 999 call', says chief constable

Candy Bellinger

A chief constable has come under fire for claiming that police are unable to attend each and every 999 call. And Cambridgeshire's Julie Spence also insisted that most people do not expect them to.

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Her claims come in the wake of criticism from a judge who said her force was "indifferent" to a call from a man reporting an attacker hiding behind his house. While no officers were sent in response to the call, Mr Ghanbara ended up beaten unconscious and with a broken nose.

But Mrs Spence insisted: "The fact is the best funded, biggest force in the world would not be able to attend every 999 call. Nor do I believe that is the expectation of most of our callers. Most know and appreciate and understand that their need may sometimes be less pressing than another's."

Perhaps the threat of violence was outweighed by an urgent motoring offence?

Politicians and campaign groups have, understandably, reacted with anger to Mrs Spence's claims. A spokesman for Alan Johnson told the Daily Mail: "The Home Secretary expects the police to respond promptly and effectively to every emergency."

If that is the case, perhaps Mr Johnson might inform the country's police force.

But there was more criticism on the cards for Cambridgeshire police force, as it was revealed that, though 999 calls may not be answered with a police presence, there was enough public funding for the story of Lukas, the police dog. The force's "dog blog" is currently following the important story of the German Shepherd puppy as he enters police training.

Do you support Mrs Spence's claims that it is impossible to respond to every emergency call or do you, unlike "most people", expect an officer to come to your aid?