A mum has told of her anger today after claiming she called police five times for help when an abusive man appeared in a children’s park - but no officers turned up.
Louise George, 45, was at the park behind the Gynn Hotel pub in North Shore when the incident took place.
I’m disgusted. I don’t think they thought it was a priority
According to the primary school worker, the man sat in the children’s play area, started drinking whisky, removed his shirt and was shouting and swearing in front of families and young children.
Mrs George, who was with daughter Samantha, 20, and son Charlie, nine, said she and other park users called police on five occasions on Thursday afternoon - only to be told all police were busy elsewhere.
The male, believed to be in his late 30s, collapsed and was treated by paramedics, but Mrs George said she was left shocked by the incident, which has sparked renewed concerns about cuts to police numbers.
She added: “We got to the play area about 1.45pm and saw the man had a bottle of Jack Daniel’s, staggering all over.
“We moved the children away and he started shouting and swearing. He then took his shirt off.
“It was quite upsetting for the children, families and old people. I decided to ring the police at 2pm, calling the non-emergency 101 number.
“I explained the situation and they promised to get someone there. Twenty minutes later I called 101 again, then about 2.35pm called 999.
“Again I was told someone was coming.”
Mrs George, of Cleator Avenue, North Shore, said by 3pm the man had almost finished the bottle of whisky and was “swaying all over the place.”
She called police again on the 999 number - only be told all officers were searching for a high-risk missing person in the Blackpool area.
She added: “It was an hour and 10 minutes after the first call. At 3.30pm no-one turned up and the guy collapsed. Within 10 minutes the paramedics turned up and when we told them what happened, they just shrugged their shoulders, suggesting this was what normally now happens (when you call the police).”
Mrs George said she was shocked by the lack of reaction by officers, adding: “I was disgusted, absolutely disgusted. I just do not think they thought it was a priority.
“They probably hoped he would leave the park on his own. We should not have to put up with it.”
Earlier this summer Lancashire’s Police and Crime Commissioner Clive Grunshaw said the Government’s austerity measures have seen 700 officers leave the force since 2010.
Mr Grunshaw said the cuts to Lancashire Police’s budget look “likely to rise to £100m by 2021”.
And Rachel Baines, of the Lancashire Police Federation, said a further 800 officers’ jobs would be put at risk if that were to happen, slashing the force’s budget by a third in just over a decade.
She said: “Across Lancashire, 83 per cent of what we deal with does not generate a crime number – for example, searching days and days for a missing child. But it’s absolutely vital.
“I am not trying to scare-monger but some of the savings already identified will come into place by March or April next year.
“If you haven’t already noticed, I think you will start to notice a difference in police visibility by then.”
A spokesman for Lancashire Police said two calls had been received relating to the incident, with the situation classed as a grade two response - allowing officers 60 minutes to respond.
He added: “At the time of receiving the report, all patrols were dealing with other incidents and before an officer was deployed, the attendance of an ambulance resolved the problem. If the male’s behaviour had become more serious, an officer would if necessary have been diverted from another incident.”