Why did Essex Police not attend the scene of a 999 at Lidls in South Ockendon?

THE councillor in charge of crime in Thurrock has pledged to look into why Essex Police did not attend the scene of a 999 call where staff had struggled with a man with a knife.

YT understands that at 7.40pm on Friday March 18th, staff at Lidls on Daiglen Drive, South Ockendon, called 999 after an incident with a shoplifter.

Although the initial incident involved a solo female, it is believed that once a member of staff followed her out of the store, staff were confronted with a male with a knife.

Our source informs us that a struggle ensued before the couple made off. The incident left the member of staff with blood on their uniform.

The staff member returned to the store and rang 999 but alleges that the police did not attend at the location and by Monday morning (March 21st) had not contacted them for a statement.

YT contacted Essex Police for a statement, which they provided and was the main body of the story we published on Monday morning.

But YT then went back to Essex Police and asked them: "Did you attend that the scene at the time?"

Despite several attempts, we did not receive a straight yes or no.

Essex Police stated: "We will be in touch with the store to arrange to take a statement.

"An area search was conducted by officers equipped with taser. We will be looking in to why there was no attendance at the store that night following this search".

Thurrock Council’s portfolio holder for public protection, cllr Jane Pothecary has told YT that she is very concerned re this and will look into the situation.

The relationship between Thurrock Council and Essex Police was fairly frayed before this with many senior councillors unhappy at the closure of police stations and the perceived lack of transparency from senior officers.

It also comes soon after a highly critical report into Essex Police by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate.

A number of the questions that cllr Pothecary may ask is what prevented Essex Police from attending the scene of a 999? How many other 999 calls did they have at 7.40pm on Friday March 18th and how many officers were on duty on Friday night.

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