Victim told he couldn't report a crime in a police station

Retired industrial chemist Andy Bevan walked into his local police station to report a crime – and was stunned to be told he had to telephone officers instead.

The 57-year-old had gone to Peeler House, in Hessle, Hull, to tell officers his car had been vandalised.

After being told he would have to phone through the incident he left, and was talking on his mobile phone outside, when an officer went out and told him he could ring in his crime report using a police phone in the station.

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The incident comes just weeks after shopkeeper Graham Taylor, also from Hessle, flagged down a police officer to ask for help in catching thieves who had stolen spirits from his shop, only to be told: "Ring the police".

Mr Bevan said: "I told the PCSO at the counter my car was vandalised last night. He said words to the effect: "Have you rung?"

"I said I'd just popped in to report it, and he said, "You can't just pop in, you have to ring."

"I said it was absolutely outrageous and if I saw bank robbers going into a bank I couldn't come in and tell them that it was happening? They said that was different, it was a crime in progress.

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"He said you have to ring in and gave me a card and that was it.

"He wasn't being officious – in fact I'd give him 10 out of 10 for bedside manner.

"But I just think it's ridiculous you can't report a crime in a police station – end of story."

Mr Bevan said he had not bothered to ring as he wasn't simply wanting a crime number so he could claim insurance: "I haven't claimed on the insurance. I actually wanted someone to be caught and punished but I don't think it is the police's remit any more."

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Chief Superintendent Paul Davison said crimes could be reported in person and via the emergency and non-emergency numbers. He said: "If a person wants to speak to an officer within a police station instead of the command centre or arrange a suitable time in which to take a statement, we can provide that facility.

"If this gentleman was not satisfied with the service he received, I would like to apologise to him and invite him to discuss the matter with me personally so we can reach a satisfactory outcome."

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