“Police are basically saying it’s our fault” say couple burgled nine times in two years
Peter and Pat Lincoln of Cheshire Grove, South Shields say they have had £30,000 worth of scrap metal stolen from their property since 2017.
Mr Lincoln, 59, a self-employed heating and plumbing engineer, keeps metal in the garden before taking it to be recycled, but thieves have helped themselves to items including boilers and copper pipes.
Despite assurances from police in November that they were working with the couple to prevent further incidents, Mr and Mrs Lincoln have now filed an official complaint about how their case was handled.
At a meeting on Thursday, January 9 they say they were told by an inspector that the burglaries continued to happen because they kept replacing the metal.
“They are basically saying it’s our own fault we’re getting burgled,” said Mrs Lincoln, a counsellor.
“The inspector who came to the house said in her own words that it’s because we keep replenishing the stuff. It's Peter’s job, what are we supposed to do? We can’t afford to rent a lock up. Why can’t we keep things on our own property?”
The couple say the burglaries have not been taken seriously, with only one officer ever following up with them.
“I know there are more important cases out there, but it’s the attitude of the police and the way it’s been handled,” continued Mrs Lincoln.
“I appreciate they are short staffed, but only one officer ever came back and told us what was happening.”
She added: “If it was the first time I would understand, but when something has happened nine times - we just want a bit of help.
“I’m very disappointed. It doesn’t give you much hope in the system.”
Northumbria Police confirmed that they had received the complaint and would be reviewing it.
A spokesperson said: “We endeavour to provide a high level of service to the communities that we serve. When an individual feels this standard has not been met we are committed to reviewing complaints and where learning points are identified we will take these on board.”