DAMNING figures have revealed it takes Avon and Somerset Police an average of five hours and 21 minutes to respond to calls about burglaries.

The statistics have been obtained by the Liberal Democrats which made a request for data to 39 police forces in England under the Freedom of Information Act.

The party says this is a dramatic 68 per cent increase on response times compared to figures from 2021/22, where it took an average of three hours and ten minute to respond to calls about burglaries. Across England, police are taking an average of 9 hours and 8 minutes to show up at the scene of reported burglary.  Taunton and Wellington Liberal Democrats have slammed the Conservative Government for these figures, arguing that years of ineffective resourcing have left local police forces overstretched, under-resourced and unable to effectively respond to local crime. This includes taking more than 4,500 Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) off the streets since 2015. The party is calling for a return to proper community policing, where officers are visible, trusted and able to focus on responding to neighbourhood crime like burglaries.

Gideon Amos, the Lib Dem Parliamentary candidate for Taunton and Wellington, said: “Having your home burgled is a traumatic experience, and victims deserve a swift response. Yet, thanks to the Conservative Government, this is increasingly out of reach. People deserve to feel safe in their own homes. 

“The fact that traumatised burglary victims are being left waiting for hours, wondering if the police will even arrive, is unacceptable.”

Mark Shelford, the Police and Crime Commissioner for Avon and Somerset, has responded and said: “This is a cynical attempt by the Liberal Democrats to pretend they have the interests of local people in Somerset at heart when in reality, just like the Labour Party, the Liberal Democrats continue to snipe from the sidelines without offering a plan because they simply don’t have one.

“In reality, residential burglaries in Avon and Somerset have fallen by over 16 per cent year on year, while the nationally they have only fallen by 2.6 per cent, something the Liberal Democrats should know.”