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Preston pub owner says he had to lock burglar in room because police wouldn’t attend

Posted on - 8th May, 2017 - 2:46pm | Author - | Posted in - Crime, Preston City Centre, Preston News
The Wellington in Glover's Court Pic: Tony Worrall
The Wellington in Glover’s Court Pic: Tony Worrall

A pub owner has criticised the amount of time police took to respond to a burglary at his premises.

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Andrew Forster, who runs The Wellington (known as The Welly locally) in Glover’s Court, had staff call police after they discovered a woman in the upstairs of the pub.

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He said it took officers from Lancashire Police more than an hour to attend and deal with the woman involved – who had been trapped by staff in one of the rooms upstairs. The incident took place on Saturday (6 May) from 3.30pm.

The 35-year-old who bought the pub in December last year said he felt let down by the force.

He said: “We had noticed the woman acting suspiciously and she had made her way through the private entrance to the first floor.

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“I went up there and found her playing music in one of the rooms. Something just didn’t feel right and I looked into the office to see it had been ransacked.

“I kept the door shut and told my staff to call for police. We were shocked as we were told they would not be dispatching an officer as it was not an emergency.

“How can having someone in your premises and in the middle of a burglary not be an emergency?”

Read more: Pub regulars see off knife-wielding man during incident

Mr Forster said staff called again 45-minutes later and expressed concern for the wellbeing of the woman, who they said had drunk alcohol from the staff area upstairs.

Lancashire Police attended more than an hour after the original emergency call by staff at The Wellington.

A spokeswoman for the force said: “We were initially called at 3.30pm on Saturday (May 6th) after a woman had been found in the upstairs private area of the Wellington Inn on Glovers Court in Preston.

“At that time, she was described as being laid down on the floor in an unaggressive manner after previously damaging an office.

“Our officers arrived at the pub and the woman was arrested at 4.44pm. She has since been charged with burglary.

“We regret that we were unable to attend the incident sooner, however unfortunately due to a busy period of demand and a number of on-going incidents across the area there were no patrols available to attend at that time.

“We take reports of crimes in action very seriously and would always endeavour to attend these as soon as possible.”

Read more: Former offices in Glover’s Court transformed into offices

Mr Forster said he was concerned that the police hadn’t responded quicker.

He said: “I’m a member of the PubWatch scheme and we used the radios to try and get help too – but nothing came.

“I try and engage with the police in my role as a publican and I feel let down by the lack of response.”

A 34-year-old woman, Julie Frogatt of St Annes Road, Manchester, has now been charged with burglary following the incident.

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