Police defend response time in gunpoint kidnap in New Forest

Manhunt for armed robber before he strikes again

Manhunt for armed robber before he strikes again

First published in News Daily Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Deputy News Editor

HAMPSHIRE police have tonight defended claims that they took too long to respond to a 999 call from a couple held at gunpoint in their home.

Allegations had been made this afternoon by the couple at the centre of the terrifying ordeal that they were unhappy with how long it took for officers to arrive at the scene.

As reported, the robber had gone into their Lymington home last Friday brandishing the weapon, before kidnapping the woman in her own car.

He then drove her round the town for 15 minutes making demands for cash, before changing his mind and driving her home again.

When the car returned police were not at the scene.

Tonight, Chief Inspector Tony Rowlinson, leading the hunt for the gunman, who is also said to be responsible for a hold-up at Brockenhurst ten days earlier, said response times were appropriate.

He told the Daily Echo he had spoken with the victim and once he had explained the situation and the course of action being taken by police following the emergency calls, she was happy.

Police said they had made tracking down the car and the woman's safety their priority when they had received the first 999 call.

Officers had been dispatched within three minutes of the emergency call being made, the Daily Echo understands.

The first armed robbery happened at Brockenhurst railway station ten days earlier,  when a man was ordered to drive his Porsche to a bank cashpoint machine.

In the latest attack, the gunman went into the couple’s Rookes Lane home and demanded cash, before taking the Peugeot 207 from the driveway and forcing the woman inside.

The gunman eventually gave up and returned her home, later abandoning the car in nearby Newenham Road.

Police in the New Forest today vowed to do everything in their power to catch an armed robber before he strikes again.

Senior officers met Forest residents today to update them on the operation to catch the person responsible.

Two men have been arrested and released on bail, but police stressed that no-one had been charged in connection with the incidents. They urged the community to remain vigilant and report any suspicious sightings immediately.

The head of New Forest police, Chief Inspector Tony Rowlinson, said: “This man may be wandering around, trying to grab an opportunity.

“My policing priority is to catch this person before he does re-offend.”

Chief Insp Rowlinson urged people not to approach anyone fitting the description of the wanted man.

He added: “People under pressure do tend to get quite agitated. I don't anyone taking the law into their own hands.”

Asked what residents should do if they were confronted by the gunman he said: “Do whatever you can to defer him without being violent.

“Don't make threats, buy some time and see if you can raise the alarm. His intention is to get money, not to cause harm.”

The gunman is described as aged 35-55 and of medium build. His clothes include a dark beanie hat, a red tartan scarf, dark trousers and a high-visibility jacket.

Comments (12)

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4:40pm Tue 18 Dec 12

Over the Edge says...

Asked what residents should do if they were confronted by the gunman he said: “Do whatever you can to defer him without being violent.

I say run like hell if the he has gun
Asked what residents should do if they were confronted by the gunman he said: “Do whatever you can to defer him without being violent. I say run like hell if the he has gun Over the Edge
  • Score: 0

4:52pm Tue 18 Dec 12

Over the Edge says...

Asked what residents should do if they were confronted by the gunman he said: “Do whatever you can to defer him without being violent.

I say run like hell if he has gun
Asked what residents should do if they were confronted by the gunman he said: “Do whatever you can to defer him without being violent. I say run like hell if he has gun Over the Edge
  • Score: 0

5:09pm Tue 18 Dec 12

Sovietobserver says...

BREAKING NEWS.
There has been an armed robbery today at the post office in Lymington Road, Highcliffe-on-Sea.
Just a little Westwards from the other two incidents, but I'm not speculating there is a connection, I'll leave that to the experts.
BREAKING NEWS. There has been an armed robbery today at the post office in Lymington Road, Highcliffe-on-Sea. Just a little Westwards from the other two incidents, but I'm not speculating there is a connection, I'll leave that to the experts. Sovietobserver
  • Score: 0

6:39pm Tue 18 Dec 12

eurogordi says...

Sovietobserver wrote:
BREAKING NEWS.
There has been an armed robbery today at the post office in Lymington Road, Highcliffe-on-Sea.
Just a little Westwards from the other two incidents, but I'm not speculating there is a connection, I'll leave that to the experts.
I thought the same, as did my colleagues at work when we heard this on the office radio. But I'm sure the experts are ahead of us both!
[quote][p][bold]Sovietobserver[/bold] wrote: BREAKING NEWS. There has been an armed robbery today at the post office in Lymington Road, Highcliffe-on-Sea. Just a little Westwards from the other two incidents, but I'm not speculating there is a connection, I'll leave that to the experts.[/p][/quote]I thought the same, as did my colleagues at work when we heard this on the office radio. But I'm sure the experts are ahead of us both! eurogordi
  • Score: 0

6:40pm Tue 18 Dec 12

eurogordi says...

Why is Hampshire's recently elected Police Commissioner, Simon Hayes, not adding any comment to this story? Wasn't he elected to keep us all safer?!!
Why is Hampshire's recently elected Police Commissioner, Simon Hayes, not adding any comment to this story? Wasn't he elected to keep us all safer?!! eurogordi
  • Score: 0

6:52pm Tue 18 Dec 12

bazzeroz says...

A pathetic statement I heard on the radio earlier today went like this.....'Police have no idea if or when the armed man will strike again'. Know what? I don't either, muppets!!
A pathetic statement I heard on the radio earlier today went like this.....'Police have no idea if or when the armed man will strike again'. Know what? I don't either, muppets!! bazzeroz
  • Score: 0

7:29pm Tue 18 Dec 12

Sovietobserver says...

eurogordi wrote:
Sovietobserver wrote:
BREAKING NEWS.
There has been an armed robbery today at the post office in Lymington Road, Highcliffe-on-Sea.
Just a little Westwards from the other two incidents, but I'm not speculating there is a connection, I'll leave that to the experts.
I thought the same, as did my colleagues at work when we heard this on the office radio. But I'm sure the experts are ahead of us both!
Bournemouth Echo site has some excellent CCTV stills of this robber in action at Highcliffe today, wearing a dark beanie hat. As Highcliff is on Dorset Police's patch, no doubt there will be a response to liaise with Hampshire Police sometime in the future I hope. Besides the comments stated by the kidnap victim in Lymington, another concerning factor is the police there issued an appeal for the driver of a sandy coloured 4x4 to contact them as he/she let the Peugeot involved pass on a narrow lane, with the victim trying to attract their attention. The location at that point was given as .sic. West Lane in Lymington not far from the victims address. The only West Lane nearby is three to four miles to the West in the village of Everton, so its virtually impossible to drive there and back in the fifteen minutes quoted in the report, which doesn't state either that they drove anywhere outside the Lymington town area. I therefore have come to the conclusion this has been mis-quoted in the police appeal, which in a crucial investigation, whilst issueing a vital witness appeal ,is a major failure in communications with the public by either the police or the press.
In my opinion this should have read Woodside Lane which is in the local vicinity of where the kidnap took place. Some clarification should be forthcoming about this,as there is no information on the Hampshire Police website even though the incident happened several days ago now.
[quote][p][bold]eurogordi[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Sovietobserver[/bold] wrote: BREAKING NEWS. There has been an armed robbery today at the post office in Lymington Road, Highcliffe-on-Sea. Just a little Westwards from the other two incidents, but I'm not speculating there is a connection, I'll leave that to the experts.[/p][/quote]I thought the same, as did my colleagues at work when we heard this on the office radio. But I'm sure the experts are ahead of us both![/p][/quote]Bournemouth Echo site has some excellent CCTV stills of this robber in action at Highcliffe today, wearing a dark beanie hat. As Highcliff is on Dorset Police's patch, no doubt there will be a response to liaise with Hampshire Police sometime in the future I hope. Besides the comments stated by the kidnap victim in Lymington, another concerning factor is the police there issued an appeal for the driver of a sandy coloured 4x4 to contact them as he/she let the Peugeot involved pass on a narrow lane, with the victim trying to attract their attention. The location at that point was given as .sic. West Lane in Lymington not far from the victims address. The only West Lane nearby is three to four miles to the West in the village of Everton, so its virtually impossible to drive there and back in the fifteen minutes quoted in the report, which doesn't state either that they drove anywhere outside the Lymington town area. I therefore have come to the conclusion this has been mis-quoted in the police appeal, which in a crucial investigation, whilst issueing a vital witness appeal ,is a major failure in communications with the public by either the police or the press. In my opinion this should have read Woodside Lane which is in the local vicinity of where the kidnap took place. Some clarification should be forthcoming about this,as there is no information on the Hampshire Police website even though the incident happened several days ago now. Sovietobserver
  • Score: 0

7:29pm Tue 18 Dec 12

chavfreezone says...

Police are freekin useless.
Police are freekin useless. chavfreezone
  • Score: 0

7:42pm Tue 18 Dec 12

Frank28 says...

I wonder if the Police knew there was a gun involved from the 999 call? If so, following the deaths of Sharon Beshenivsky & Teresa Millburn in 2005 - they would have sent out an Armed Response Unit, rather than unarmed Officers.
I wonder if the Police knew there was a gun involved from the 999 call? If so, following the deaths of Sharon Beshenivsky & Teresa Millburn in 2005 - they would have sent out an Armed Response Unit, rather than unarmed Officers. Frank28
  • Score: 0

11:41pm Tue 18 Dec 12

Monty3 says...

chavfreezone wrote:
Police are freekin useless.
Lets see you do a better job then!!
[quote][p][bold]chavfreezone[/bold] wrote: Police are freekin useless.[/p][/quote]Lets see you do a better job then!! Monty3
  • Score: 0

9:51am Wed 19 Dec 12

big white bear says...

on the first 2 incidents ie. armed robbery then armed kidnapping, by alegedly the same people, how come when they go before the beak,they get bail, its the judges who are useless and inept
on the first 2 incidents ie. armed robbery then armed kidnapping, by alegedly the same people, how come when they go before the beak,they get bail, its the judges who are useless and inept big white bear
  • Score: 0

5:55pm Wed 19 Dec 12

Adi Russ says...

I have a feeling that if a 999 call comes in that concerns firearms The ARV Armed Response Vehicles will be deployed first before their un armed colleauges. As only a limited amount of officers in Hampshire are armed they have a huge area to cover. I was leaving from the Lymington area last friday and passed at least 6 or 7 police vehicles, many unmarked, driving from Southampton towards Lymington. They seemed to me to be making very rapid progress. I suppose the only answer is to have more armed police on duty so the area they have to cover becomes smaller which in turn would improve response times.
I have a feeling that if a 999 call comes in that concerns firearms The ARV Armed Response Vehicles will be deployed first before their un armed colleauges. As only a limited amount of officers in Hampshire are armed they have a huge area to cover. I was leaving from the Lymington area last friday and passed at least 6 or 7 police vehicles, many unmarked, driving from Southampton towards Lymington. They seemed to me to be making very rapid progress. I suppose the only answer is to have more armed police on duty so the area they have to cover becomes smaller which in turn would improve response times. Adi Russ
  • Score: 0

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