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Cops left car for hoods

By Ciara Quinn

THE PSNI over their response to a 999 call that led to a family’s stolen car being taken again by thieves.

The car, a blue Volkswagen Golf, was stolen from a property in the Brooklands Grange area of Dunmurry in the early hours of Sunday morning. As we went to press last night the vehicle had still not been recovered.

Despite the PSNI being informed of the creeper burglary at 11.30am on Sunday, no-one came to the property to take details until 9pm that evening, with the victims being repeatedly told that police were too busy.

It is understood the PSNI were informed by the victim and residents of the location of the car, which was abandoned for a number of hours in Glenwood View on Monday, from where thieves later retrieved it after police said that they couldn’t recover it – and neither should the family.

Junior Minister and MLA for the Colin area, Jennifer McCann. said the incident “beggars belief”.

“This family and the whole community deserved a lot more from policing,” she said. “It is my understanding that as of 11pm last night (Tuesday) the car had still not been found. I find it outrageous that first of all this family had to wait up to 10 hours before anyone called out to deal with the serious crime of their home being burgled, and secondly to be told that there was no-one available to recover the car when it was discovered.”

Ms McCann said the PSNI rang the family around 12.30pm on Monday to say the car had been spotted in a street in Poleglass’s Glenwood area with one of its tyres deflated. “The family asked if the PSNI were going to recover the car but were told again that they were too busy at that time.

“The family then went up to Poleglass to see the car for themselves and noticed it was locked and while there was a bit of damage there wasn’t anything of great significance at that stage. The PSNI were phoned again and asked if the family themselves should make arrangement to recover the car and they were told not to do so.

“At 4pm the PSNI rang the family back to say the car was no longer there and that they didn’t know where it was at that stage. The thieves had actually come back to change the wheel and retrieved the car.”

“Not only have the PSNI failed this family, they have also failed this community because this car is still missing, which means there are people driving about in a stolen car endangering others. I have spoken to the PSNI and will be making an official complaint to the Police Ombudsman.”

Local Sinn Féin Councillor Stephen Magennis, a member of the Lisburn Policing and Community Safety Partnership (PCSP), told the Andersonstown News that what had happened is “nothing short of disgraceful”.

“God knows where the car is at the minute,” he said. “This is not the kind of policing I’ve bought into. I will be raising this incident with the new Chief Inspector for Lisburn because as of last night (Tuesday) no-one in the community had been aware of what actually had happened. All it would have taken is a simple phone call to myself or one of the other community representatives in the area and we would have been looking out for that car. It wasn’t just the owners who called the PSNI reporting the crime or that the car in question had been sighted in the Glenwood estate – residents were also calling saying the vehicle had been abandoned. What has happened is very worrying and it doesn’t help matters for policing in the Colin area in general.”

A PSNI appeal for information following the creeper burglary was issued on Tuesday evening but made no reference to that fact that car had been taken back again by thieves or had still not been recovered.

Lisburn Area Commander, Chief Inspector John Wilson, said: “I fully understand how the family can feel disappointed in the situation, however I must stress that on Sunday 24 August my crews were fully engaged in high priority incidents and on Monday 25 August they were fully engaged in dealing with a high risk missing person who was thankfully later found safe and well.”

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