POLICE: First class response

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On Tuesday, September 4, having left my car in the Keel Row shopping centre car park in Blyth, I visited the library.

I returned to my car, but before I could drive away a man appeared at the passenger side and violently smashed the window, grabbed my bag and ran away.

I am a 72-year-old woman and I was obviously very shaken.

I reported the incident to the Keel Row security guard, who was very helpful (thank you) and immediately called the police, who arrived very quickly.

While the police obviously needed to get details of the incident immediately, they were also anxious to ascertain that I was physically ok, ensure I had someone with me at all times and felt safe, which was so important after what was a traumatic experience.

The inspector quickly contacted my daughter and my bank so that I could cancel my cards, thankfully before they could be used.

From the time the police arrived to making a formal statement, I was shown both care and consideration, and I have been updated on progress since.

I was taken home by one police officer, while another returned my car.

I know the police sometimes get a bad press, but after my very unnerving experience I cannot praise the service too highly.

I don’t know if chief constables get local papers, but perhaps they should as it would reinforce what ordinary people already know – that it is the police officers who interface with the general public in the immediate aftermath of violent incidents that are their best resource and who should receive all the support they deserve.

I would especially like to thank Inspector Neil Hall, PCs S West and D Ostle, and PCSO Nicola Raisbeck, whose caring response helped so much.

Name and address supplied