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‘Police have let themselves down’, says councillor after taking three days to visit Dingwall shop where £5000 worth of jewellery was stolen; owner of business 'disappointed' with response time


By Federica Stefani

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Bill Powrie with his CCTV camera feed. He has CCTV set up in the store and says the theft was caught on video (not pictured here). Picture: Callum Mackay
Bill Powrie with his CCTV camera feed. He has CCTV set up in the store and says the theft was caught on video (not pictured here). Picture: Callum Mackay

A “CONCERNED and disappointed” Dingwall businessman has criticised police for only turning up three days after jewellery worth £5000 was stolen from his antiques shop.

Two rings and a gold chain were stolen from Objet D’Art on Tulloch Street on Thursday last week.

Business owner and former Brora Rangers chairman Bill Powrie told the North Star that despite CCTV footage showing the alleged thief clearly, the earliest appointment he was given with police officers was on Sunday – three days after the theft occurred.

Mr Powrie, who has owned the shop for 10 years, said it is the first time something like the theft has happened.

He said: “The community has been very supportive, to the extent that people have been coming to the shop and expressing their regret and one person even brought flowers.

“This is a big crime for Dingwall.

“We have a good, safe community, and that’s also why I was concerned and disappointed that it would take them that long to turn up.”

“I didn’t think that the way this was dealt with was terribly efficient.

“I think that if I had gone to the local police directly, that would have been dealt with more quickly, whereas having to go through 101 and the central system means that any action takes so much longer.

According to CCTV, it was shortly after 10.30am that the theft occurred, while Mr Powrie was briefly outside the shop’s door, but by the time he realised the items had been stolen it was after 4.15pm, with police being called shortly after.

However, the first availability for officers to visit Mr Powrie was only on the following Sunday (July 24).

Bill Powrie said the thief took jewellery from one of his display cases. Picture: Callum Mackay.
Bill Powrie said the thief took jewellery from one of his display cases. Picture: Callum Mackay.

Mr Powrie added: “Everything was caught on CCTV and we also had a good shot of the thief caught in the act, which I was able to give police officers.

“I did show the CCTV pictures to certain people the day after and some of them said they thought they recognised who it was.

“I also phoned police on the Friday as we could perhaps have a suspect but despite this the appointment was not moved forward.

“When they arrived, the two officers were really diligent and empathetic with me.

Mr Powrie said he is confident the goods will not be retrieved, and that he is now settling details with the insurance.

“It’s a small business so to lose something of that value it’s quite distressing.”

Cllr Sean Kennedy said: “I think on this occasion that the police let themselves down. The proprietor was able to furnish them with all the information that they needed but the response time was lagging. That gave the alleged perpetrator plenty of time to sell on the goods. Crime should not pay. This was quite a significant theft for Dingwall and we want to stamp this out and it didn’t happen.”

A Police Scotland spokesperson said: “Once we have taken a call or a contact, whether 999, 101 or through email, we then carry out a detailed assessment based on the person’s particular needs and vulnerabilities and the potential for threat, harm and risk.

“Where that person needs an immediate response, we want to dispatch informed help as quickly as possible. Where an incident is not ongoing and there is no immediate threat then an appointment will be made to speak to the complainer at their convenience.”




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