Harlesden burglary victim frustrated at police response

Ayesha Siddiqi with her partner Salman Mohammad (Picture: Jonathan Goldberg)

Ayesha Siddiqi with her partner Salman Mohammad (Picture: Jonathan Goldberg) - Credit: Archant

A woman has criticised police for not fully investigating a burglary at her Harlesden home despite collecting evidence to help find the thieves.

Ayesha Siddiqi’s home was burgled on January 3 where two laptops, two bags and her wallet were among the items stolen.

Able to track the use of her stolen bank card she was led to her local Londis store in Church Street.

Shop staff had CCTV footage of a woman removing a card from a “bright yellow distinctive” purse which Ms Siddiqi immediately recognised as her own.

The registration number of the car the alleged burglars were seen to drive off in were also captured on CCTV.

Ms Siddiqi, an assistant professor at the University of London, gave all the evidence to police at Wembley Police Station a day later and “felt confident” when police ran the license number and indicated the match was enough to make an arrest.

The 34-year-old said: “Sadly, the police response has been most disappointing. We gave them the car registration number the next day but then it took them 10 days to go and collect the CCTV footage. I don’t feel that there is any kind of urgency or even serious intent at their end.” Her experience comes three months after the Met’s deputy assistant commissioner Mark Simmons said officers were following a new Crime Assessment Policy which allows them to judge whether it would be “proportionate” to continue with an investigation.

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He said: “Crimes like burglary are of particular importance. Where the forensic examination produces leads, we do, and will continue to, follow them up robustly.

“Where there are other investigative leads such as a vehicle number plate then we would also still pursue the investigation.”

Ms Siddiqi added: “We took a lot of the burden of police work on ourselves. We were doing the leg work for the police so they could take us seriously. I don’t feel we got an adequate response. There doesn’t seem to be any systematic approach to apprehension. We’re talking a hit of a couple of thousand pounds. It doesn’t feel that’s a concern, for them it wasn’t worth pursuing. I feel really let down.”

However police said they are continuing to investigate the burglary.

A spokesman said: “Officers attended the shop and viewed the footage, which appeared to show an unknown suspect handling stolen goods. Enquiries to identify the suspect - and whether they were involved in the original offence - and an associated vehicle are ongoing.”