Basildon: Victim's praise for officers and call handler after attempted burglary
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A victim of attempted burglary has thanked the officers and police staff who responded swiftly and with compassion to her urgent call for help.
The victim, a 49-year-old woman who we are keeping anonymous, lives on her own at her home in Basildon.
Her 999 call was answered by a call handler within our Force Control Room shortly after 1.16am on Monday 28 August.
She reported hearing someone climb over her garden fence before trying her door handle.
'I saw someone try the door handle'
“I live on my own and don’t have any issues, I typically feel safe and have no problem with security at my home. “On this evening I heard a noise at the fence at about 12.50am. All the lights were off in the area and it was pitch black, I could see something, but I couldn’t work out if someone was attempting to come over the fence. “Ten minutes later I was downstairs and saw someone try the door handle, that’s when I called the police.”
Our officers were outside her home by 1.26am.
Throughout this wait, our call handler stayed on the line with the victim providing constant updates and reassurance.
Officers on the scene
The victim added:
“The woman on the other end of the phone stayed the short 11 minutes with me which made me feel safer. “She kept me updated constantly as to where the officers were, telling me when they were round the corner, and saying there’s two cars in the road. “Then I could see them coming up the path. “The two officers checked everything, they offered to take me somewhere else, they were very helpful. “When I woke up the next morning, CID were doing door-to-door enquiries. By lunchtime I had the forensics guy round looking for fingerprints on the door handle. “When something like this actually happens, you don’t know whether to shout out, or run, or what to do. That’s why this response was so reassuring as they helped me through every step. “Essex Police don’t get enough credit for the difference they make and I wanted to thank all involved in helping me to feel safe again. “I think sometimes police can get some bad press, but in my experience, I don’t think they could have done anything better.”
Officers continue to investigate this incident, including carrying out CCTV and forensic checks, door-to-door enquiries and speaking to witnesses.
Anyone who has any information, and any witnesses who may have noticed suspicious activity in the area of Steeple View, Laindon, Basildon, around the early hours of Monday 28 August, are asked to come forward.
Our proactive approach to burglary
Acting Superintendent Dan McHugh, Head of Operational Policing in the South of Essex, said:
“We take a proactive approach to tackling burglary and this work never stops. “We review where we are seeing hotspots, linked offences, or repeat victims and where we see repeat suspects or have known burglary offenders wanted for other matters. “This is why it is absolutely vital victims, and those with information on suspicious activity, get in touch with us to report these matters. “The victim in this incident did exactly the right thing, dialling 999 for help as there was an immediate risk to her safety and property. “I’m pleased to hear the quick work of our officers has offered her a measure of reassurance and confidence in her local police force. “To report any non-emergency matters of concern, the quickest way for residents in Basildon to reach us is online via our Live Chat service. “We’re proud of our record in tackling burglary in Basildon, whilst recognising we can never be complacent and there’s always more we can do. “The number of business burglaries in Basildon has halved in the last five years and we’re now seeing the number of burglary investigations solved going up.”
Do you have any information?
If you have any information, CCTV, dash cam or other footage in relation to this incident, then please get in contact with us.
Live Chat is an online service available on our website Monday to Friday (excluding public holidays) between 10am-9pm, where you can send and receive real-time direct messages with an online digital 101 operator.
To use the service, select the ‘Live Chat’ icon at the bottom right of your screen when you're on our website. It can be accessed from a desktop computer, laptop, tablet or mobile phone.