Police in Norfolk have issued an apology for failing to prevent a boat theft after a phone report went unheeded

Norfolk police have apologised to a boat owner after their response to the theft of his 33ft cruiser allowed thieves to escape.

The authorities have also admitted that their service “fell short on this occasion”.

Police were initially called after reports of suspicious behaviour at moorings near Thorpe St Andrew around 6pm on November 19. 

However, it was not until 6.48pm, when the owner reported the theft, that officers were dispatched.

A police spokesman said: “Following a review of our initial response to this incident, it has been concluded that officers should have been dispatched to the location following the first call to police reporting suspicious activity.

“We have apologised to the boat owner for this delay and members of control room staff have received management advice on the appropriate grading of such calls.

A police helicopter and firefighters were drafted into the search for the stolen Aqua Fibre 33 cruiser and the vessel was recovered later that night along the River Yare.

Two people were arrested on suspicion of theft in the days after the incident.

The 45-year-old boat owner said he was pleased to receive an apology but stated there was no need for the situation to escalate to the extent it did.

He said: “It goes some way to making up for what happened but it’s just a waste of money. If they had reacted quicker it wouldn’t have escalated.

“I don’t know how much it costs to put a helicopter in the air but it can’t be cheap. There was an awful lot of money wasted on that evening.”

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