An ex Kent County councillor has described Kent Police procedure following the attack of a Strood teenager as ‘an insult to the black community’.
Adam Ephraim, 15, was set upon by a group of youths on his way home last week (12th May).
He was kicked to the ground and punched in an unprovoked attack.
The boy’s father called 999 but was advised to contact the non-emergency 101 number, claiming it took over 2 hours to get through.
Joan Ayeni, a Kent community activist and ex Labour councillor for Kent County Council has criticised the police’s reaction to the incident.
She said: “The attitude of 999 staff is totally out of order. The young boy should have been taken to the hospital for a thorough check out to eliminate head injuries and internal bleeding.
“To be given just a crime number without any other support is an insult to the boy, his parents and the black community.
“The police are meant to be protecting the community not exposing them to danger.”
Medway councillor Tristan Osborne expressed doubt regarding police’s ability to deal with similar incidents.
He said: “Whilst the police followed operational procedure it does beg the question whether there are now sufficient resources to deal with crime and how this presents to the public.”
“There have been consistent concerns around the call-centre volumes and residents simply not getting through to report crimes; if not managed the public will simply lose confidence in the reporting process”
Cllr Osborne went on to show support to Adam and his family, expressing hope for police to put a bigger emphasis on victims.
“The family have undergone a period of prolonged stress because of how they were treated by the police. I hope common sense does prevail over similar cases in the future and that victim support really does become the focus.”
Kent Police have spoken out in response to the comments made regarding the attack.
Superintendent Adam Ball of Kent Police said: “‘We understand there was a delay in the victim’s father contacting us via 101.
“During peak times it can take longer than usual to answer non-emergency calls, as our call handlers will prioritise emergency calls to the 999 system where there is the greatest risk of threat or harm.
“On this occasion we were able to establish though our discussion with the victim’s father that his son was in a safe location and that the suspects were no longer at the scene. Furthermore there were no forensic opportunities or other lines of enquiry identified.
“The victim’s father was therefore advised that an officer would not be attending. We have since contacted him again to discuss the report and explain why police attendance was not possible on this occasion.”