David Greville is sceptical about greater priority for residential burglary investigations after waiting more than an hour for police after calling 111 just minutes after an attempted robbery at his house.
The Hastings man said he had suspected there were untoward goings-on when he got home earlier this week and found the beds dishevelled.
On Wednesday morning, he decided to come home from work to see if he could catch anyone.
"This time when I got there two TVs were outside against the wall, and I could hear people outside the house.
"I rang 111 and asked them to send the police around now and gave them the address."
He was asked if the offenders were still on the premises, and continued talking for a few minutes before he was put on to someone else. "I had to repeat everything to him and while I was talking they left - if they had come round with a dog they would have picked up the trail.
"They go on about burglaries and the cops getting on to it, but it was hopeless."
He said a fingerprinting team turned up about an hour after his initial call.
Detective Sergeant Jason Crowe confirmed that police received a 111 report of a burglary at Mr Greville's address on Wednesday at about 12.15pm. There were no signs of forced entry, and a police officer attended at 1.30pm.
Mr Crowe said there were no signs of forced entry and evidence was found during a scene examination. The investigation was continuing.
Despite his frustration, Mr Greville did not blame the police, because he knew they were under-resourced.
At the beginning of this month, official crime statistics for the year ending August were released. They showed 12,459 more people were falling victim to burglaries, robbery and assaults than the year before - a 4.8 per cent rise in crime overall.
At that time Police Minister Judith Collins said police were continuing to place a significant focus on burglaries.
"With the new policy of full attendance at dwelling burglaries, the public can now expect either a constabulary or scene-of-crime officer to attend within a reasonable time," Ms Collins said.
Napier MP and Labour police spokesman Stuart Nash said the party just yesterday announced that if it were in Government it would introduce 1000 extra sworn police officers and 300 non-sworn police.
"We've had this policy under wraps, but it's been fully costed - we understand the frustrations on the part of the police and the community so let's do something about it."
New Zealand Police Association president Chris Cahill said while he could not comment on individual cases, such situations all came down to priorities. Under-resourcing of police was a big issue.
"When there are not enough staff, more drops off the priority list."
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