Police lines are jammed

VICTIMS of crime can’t get through to the police when they need to, according to two local councillors who raised the issue of police mobiles at the most recent meeting of Banbridge District Policing Partnership.

Those gathered heard the plights of people who had called the police only to be kept waiting or to find the policing team’s mobile phone mailboxes were full.

Councillor Joan Baird said she had been contacted by a number of people who had tried and failed to get through to the police.

“I can only tell them to keep ringing and ringing,” she said.

“But let me tell you that can get frustrating and it’s not long before people just give up. People either can’t get through or can’t make contact with the right person.”

Mrs Baird also said she had had reports that the telephone numbers are incorrect on the local website and in some leaflets - although Inspector Jackie Gillespie said this has been checked and they are accurate.

Inspector Gillespie added that she symapthises with people who face delays when trying to contact police.

“There can be delays and that can be frustrating but we are currently looking into the matter,” she said.

Councillor Sheila McQuaid said she had been approached by local people to complain that the voicemail inboxes on police mobiles are frequently full.

“When you get through to the mobile you get the message that the mailbox is full,” she said. “Could you remind police officers to clear their inboxes?”

Inspector Gillespie said it is not a problem she had been made aware of before but said she will pass the message on.