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H@me & Eat and Homebase burglaries: Police respond to Facebook critics

Police have answered criticism of their contrasting response to burglaries at two businesses in Stansted Road, Bishop’s Stortford.

At around 2am last Wednesday (Jan 22) a man broke in to restaurant, shop and hot tub showroom H@me & Eat on the Birchanger industrial estate by smashing a window. Designer clothing and Yankee candles were stolen.

At about 6am on Thursday (Jan 23) a man forced his way into home and garden centre Homebase on the Goodliffe Park retail site across the road via the front door. It is not known what was taken.

Facebook users criticised police for not sending someone to H@me & Eat until Thursday morning – about 30 hours after the break-in – while officers responded immediately to the Homebase incident.

“Hertfordshire Constabulary takes all reports of burglary seriously and we fully understand the impact it can have on victims,” said a spokesperson.

“We will always attend reports as soon as we possibly can. However, we receive a high volume of calls a day and will naturally prioritise those where a crime is in action or a vulnerable victim is involved.

“At the time the Homebase burglary was reported to police... there was a possibility that the offender(s) were still on scene. Therefore, officers were immediately dispatched to the area.

“Regarding the H@me & Eat burglary, an initial crime report was taken over the phone and the investigation was then allocated to a detective in the local crime unit the following morning. Officers from the Safer Neighbourhood Team attended and an arrest was made that day.”

A 40-year-old Essex man arrested on suspicion of burglary has been released under investigation while enquiries continue.

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