Business owner told that police are 'too busy' to investigate £26,000 theft

The thieves were caught on CCTV — but police were too busy to investigate

A businessman has been told by police they are too busy to investigate the theft of £26,000 worth of goods — despite the criminals being filmed on CCTV.

Jack Whiteley, who runs Glencrest Seatex in Leigh-on-Sea, supplied Essex Police with footage of the theft of garden furniture from his company on 26 August.

However, despite the video evidence — in which the men’s faces and the van’s registration place are visible — he was told that police couldn’t help.

In an email, Whiteley was told that officers “unable to assist as they are at saturation point with their workload”.

Since then, assistant chief constable Andy Prophet said: “I’ve tasked an urgent review of this crime. Officers will be contacting Mr Whiteley directly. I apologise for any gaps in activity to date.”


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He said some of the force’s “processes let Mr Whiteley down”, and added: “We don’t always get it right.”

“When that happens we say sorry and resolve. Essex Police are stretched and working hard to get things right,” he said.

Mr Whiteley told the BBC: “My furniture has gone walkies now, the whole point of me sending this [the CCTV footage] to the police on the Tuesday following the bank holiday weekend was we had time to go and get these people and get my 20-odd thousand pounds worth of goods back.

“From my point of view, the police have cost me those goods.”