Friday, March 23, 2012

Parents of teen mugging victim slam British police as they trace attacker on Facebook... while officers still hadn't even started investigation after FIVE days

Should it need a media report to get them off their fat behinds?

The parents of a teenage mugging victim have slammed police for failing to apprehend her attacker - after they tracked her down on Facebook. Hannah Brinkman, 14, was left battered and bruised after being mugged for her mobile phone as she walked back home from an evening out with friends in Bristol.

Her horrified parents called police as soon as she returned home and officers arrived within ten minutes to take a statement.

The next day Hannah’s father Mark Brinkman, 49, knocked on doors near Broadbury Road, Bristol - the scene of the attack - and a witness gave him the name of Hannah’s alleged attacker. Mr Brinkman quickly tracked down the woman on Facebook and immediately reported the information to police when his daughter recognised her.

But five days later the family were told the case was still waiting to be allocated for investigation.

Mr Brinkman today slammed the police’s lack of response as ‘unacceptable’. He said: ‘The fact that an adult can do that to a child, she is then clearly identified and then nothing is done about it, defies belief. ‘I understand that the police have procedures and processes but it is unacceptable that this can happen and that there is no sense of urgency.’

He added that Hannah is devastated, is having difficulties sleeping and keeps reliving the event again and again.

‘It was a random attack, a violent robbery, by someone she has never seen before. Why aren’t the police doing anything?,’ Mr Brinkman said. ‘If it was one of their children who was 14 and was attacked by an adult then I am sure there wouldn’t have been this response.’

Hannah, who attends Merchant’s Academy in South Bristol, was walking home at 11.30pm on Friday night when she noticed a gang of people. A woman ran over and grabbed Hannah’s phone - but turned violent when the schoolgirl chased after her to get it back.

Mr Brinkman added: ‘The woman stopped and beat hell out of her, punching her repeatedly in the head. ‘Her mouth was badly smashed up inside, as she has a brace, and she was left with bruising to her head. ‘After she was attacked she gave up and the woman walked off and put the phone in her pocket.’

Hannah returned home and her parents called police. The following morning, her father knocked on the doors of houses around where the incident happened. He was given the name of Hannah’s suspected attacked and typed it into Facebook when he returned home - with his daughter recognising the woman straight away.

Mr Brinkman phoned police and gave them the name, believing that they would investigate it immediately. He was shocked when nothing was done five day later.

Martin Dunscombe, spokesman for Avon and Somerset police, admitted that there had been failings in communication with the family.
He said: ‘This was undoubtedly a frightening incident for the teenage victim and one which we are taking very seriously.

‘Within an hour of the incident being reported a police officer had attended the scene and spoken to the victim. In the next few hours he also seized clothing as evidence and reviewed local CCTV coverage. ‘It is important to us to keep victims informed on the progress of their crimes and clearly on this occasion we could have done better.

‘This incident has been allocated to a local response team who will continue the investigation and will be making contact with the family.’

Original report here

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