Police admit failings after business targeted by vandals and thieves
PUBLISHED: 06:00 21 October 2013
A businessman whose firm was burgled has hit out at what he called “an appalling level of service” by police.
Officers have apologised for the response after Hyder Haniffa complained.
Mr Haniffa, who runs Uni Snacks Ltd, in Travellers Lane, Welham Green, said he was shocked by the response after £3,500 worth of mechanical van parts were stolen at the end of last month.
And days later, on October 5, vandals targeted the same van, damaging mechanical parts.
The theft and criminal damage ended up costing more than £14,000.
But Mr Haniffa said police were slow to respond, and only collected CCTV footage last Friday.
He told the WHT: “I was looking for a complaining procedure for the appalling level of service we have been subject to by the Hatfield Police force.”
Before the police finally arrived last week, he added: “Our insurance provider believes we are operating from a high risk crime area added with no action from police.
“They are considering revoking the insurance cover on the vehicle and property.
“I cannot operate vehicles or commercial premises without an insurance cover.
“I am helpless on how to protect myself, my staff and the property.”
Mr Haniffa contacted Police and Crime Commissioner David Lloyd, who refused to comment on the crimes when the WHT asked about them.
Due to the police response time, Mr Haniffa said he was not sure whether to move somewhere else.
He said: “If we do not operate the business daily, we cannot pay the staff and tax on time due [to] cash flow problems.”
He even said he was “desperate” and considered guarding the property himself.
Hertfordshire Constabulary admitted being in the wrong over its handling of the investigation, and said “measures” had been put in place to prevent it happening again.
Neighbourhood Inspector for Welwyn Hatfield, Ian Grout, said: “The issues raised by Mr Haniffa have been looked into and, whilst elements of the investigation were conducted correctly, regrettably it appears he has not been given the service expected, and we are working to address this.
“We have spoken with Mr Haniffa, apologised for the error and reassured him that a full investigation is being conducted into the incidents.”
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